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June 2010

And to think I used to HATE setting the table!

The week we were in Hawaii, my grandmother moved into an assisted living center. We went to visit her on Sunday. Her room is super cute, with her most familiar furniture, a furry toilet seat lid, the snapshot of my grandpa stuck in the corner of the mirror, and walls covered with pictures of kids and grandkids and great grandkids. She was crocheting and there was a giant dish full of M&Ms - standard Grandma operating procedure - and it didn't seem that strange. It's been a long time since I spent any significant time at her house - she's mostly been living with my parents the last couple of years - and when I do go to that house it no longer feels like Grandma's house. I don't know why, it just doesn't. 

I'm surprised by that, sort of like how I don't miss our old house and don't feel sad whenever we drive by it. 

Grandma's new place is a fraction of her old place, so there's been lots of discussion around what to do with the house and all of her things. Some of it didn't fit in the new place, so they made it fit. My uncle makes cabinets and you should see how he resized and refinished her old coffee table, it's amazing. And some of it must go. Like the huge upright piano my grandparents bought my mother for her 12th (?) birthday for, I'm told, $50. 

This piano is nearly as tall as I am. It's got a full set of discolored ivory keys. Back when it was cool to 'antique' things, my grandmother antiqued the piano so it has this terrible finish I could never quite identify. It has a stool that you wind up and down - we took many whirly dizzy rides on that stool. It's loud and clangy and horribly out of tune. It used to be the centerpiece of Christmases past, but no one has really played it in years. If we're at Grandma's house and we're staying longer than ten minutes, I usually sit down and bang out 'Red Roses For A Blue Lady', the one piece of her 40s and 50s era sheet music I can play without totally butchering. 

A few weeks ago my mom asked me if I wanted that piano. She has no room for it and I knew she didn't want to get rid of it. And even though there is absolutely nowhere to put a piano in our little rental house, especially a piano of that SIZE, I despaired that she would get rid of it. It's GRANDMA'S PIANO. If there's anything about that house that I hold dear, it's that giant piano. 

I told her to ask around, see if anyone else would take it, and if she couldn't I would figure out what to do. I would wrap it in plastic and stick it in my garage. Or something. I mean, we could get it tuned. Refinished. It could be beautiful. 

Turns out my sister is going to take it. Thank goodness. I'm so glad I'll get to see it again. 

Tonight my mom called about my grandmother's china. I already knew I was getting the set meant for my mother, but no one wants my aunt's set, so did I want two? Two sets of china?

I don't have any china. When I was getting married and people were talking about things like registering for china, I didn't see the point. Well, I also didn't want to register, but that's another story. We registered for plain white everyday dishes and I've never been sorry, but as I turned into my heavily domesticated in-love-with-table-settings self, I did start to wish for special occasion dishes. Like china. Even though most china I've seen is horrid. 

A few years ago my friend The Bride flew up to visit and her new thing was antiquing (as in shopping for antiques, not weirdly refinishing your piano) so we went around to a few antique stores. I am not much for antiquing, since all I see is junk (I'M SORRY!) so I was mostly bored out of my mind while she poked around at furniture and lamps and knick knacky things. But I do remember her saying that you could pick up a whole set of china at an antique shop, and if she ever wanted her own set that's probably what she would do. I filed this away for future reference, assuming that one day I would break down and start hunting for my own. I even thought about buying a whole bunch of mismatched pieces, because wouldn't that be Interesting? And make me out to be Eclectic and Creative and Innovative to my dinner guests? 

Then one year I hosted a table at the church tea party fundraiser and I needed a set of dishes with teacups and guess what - my DAD has china. His parents bought each kid a set of Bavarian china when they lived in Germany. It's white, with gold trim and tiny pink rosettes. I think it's hideous, but in a good way. You know? So I borrowed it and then I didn't give it back. I haven't used it since, and my mom still has half of it at her house, but I always thought: well, if I need china, I can always ask my mom for the rest. 

But then my grandma moved into assisted living and I was informed that she had THREE sets of china, one for each of her daughters. And my mother didn't want hers. And one of my aunts didn't want HERS. And now I have two full sets of china (however many settings that may be, I have no clue) and my mother told me to make sure to hunt around all the cupboards because there are so many serving pieces. 

Phillip is very excited about this, as you might assume. 

I don't even know what this china looks like. I can't remember ever seeing it. My mom described it to me over the phone - with blue trim, smaller plates than you have nowadays, dainty - and swears it's not ugly, but even if it WAS. I suppose it sounds sort of trite and cliche, like wanting the jewelry or the crystal or whatever, and I don't have any memories of it like I do the piano, but it's my grandmother's china. Of COURSE I want it. One day I want to host Christmases and Thanksgivings like my grandmother did and now I'll have her fancy dishes too. 


Hawaii weddings: highly recommend

So, this wedding was pretty fabulous. Not least because my kids were so stinking cute.

Mollyjack 

I even bought Molly a teeny little plumeria to clip behind her ear. SO CUTE.

When we met up with the bride and groom for dinner the night we arrived, she handed me an envelope full of three different schedule spreadsheets - one of them was five pages long. Lest you think I am making fun of her, I AM NOT. No no, I stand in REVERENCE. Had I only the courage and will to force five-page schedules into the hands of my sister's wedding party, perhaps I would not have been coordinating a grand Wedding Attire Scavenger Hunt mere hours before the ceremony. 

But you know, when you are a bridesmaid, and an out-of-town bridesmaid at that, you don't have many responsibilities other than making sure you show up with your dress and your shoes. So I can't say I paid a lot of attention to the spreadsheet, but that is how I knew everything would be orderly and lovely and smooth. And except for the part where the slideshow wouldn't work properly and the groomsman assigned to me was dragged up to the microphone to tell hilarious stories about the groom to fill the silence, it was. (And even that was a highlight, in my opinion. I love goofy groomsmen.) 

It was at a pretty fabulous hotel, in the garden where the hotel holds its luaus. Which means the biggest of the hotel's several private garden areas. Which means: REEEEEEEALLY BIG.

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Um, this is maybe a THIRD of the tables. 

The ceremony itself was held in a smaller lawn area behind this huge covered area. 

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Um, this is maybe a 42nd of the number of chairs required for all the guests. 

But before all that started we were getting our hair done and hanging out in a hotel room with this view:

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AW YEAH. 

Other Bridesmaid and I mostly sat around in this otherwise uninteresting hotel room not knowing what to do with ourselves, as we were the out-of-town bridesmaids and therefore useless in every way. We did hold a lot of flower boxes, I suppose, and say many an encouraging thing during the Get The Bride Into The Dress Process. Oh, I did pin the flowers in the bride's hair. My one contribution to the wedding! Go me! 

And then it was showtime.

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Sob!

There would have been more sobbing if I hadn't kept my head down almost the entire time, trying to avoid blindness by sunlight. I think they lined us up by height too, in which case: sorry for ruining the picture symmetry, Bride! Oops! 

You can't really tell from this picture - 

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So! Many! Tables!

- but one of my favorite things were the table decorations. They had floral centerpieces, but the "runners" were banana leaves, and at either end of the tables were fruit centerpieces. But the fruit had all been cut up and put back together with little toothpicks, so you could eat ALL OF IT. Which basically meant our table decor was demolished ten minutes into the reception. 

Oh, I also loved the music.

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Hana hou!

For those of you not in the know, Hawaiian music is either the ukulele 'Over The Rainbow' type thing you've heard on occasion, or it's my dad's easy listening radio station slowed down about nine thousand beats per minute.

And once all my hard work was over, you bet I used up those drink tickets. 

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Don't mind if I do! 


A really excellent way to end your actual anniversary day

You know what's hot? Sending your husband out for... how shall I put this on a Family Website?... FOOD POISONING COMBATANTS on your actual anniversary day. HOT. I should be out with friends right now (isn't that how you celebrate YOUR actual anniversary day?) but no, instead I am wearing bright blue pajama pants and my volleyball team t-shirt and running to the bathroom on ten-minute intervals. So why not write a blog post in between! YOU ARE WELCOME!

I am blaming Orange Julius. I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary today - toast, granola bars, my kids' lunch leftovers and my mother-in-law's stirfry dinner - EXCEPT for the random strawberry banana Orange Julius to which I treated myself at the mall in my in-laws' town this afternoon. This is a horrible mall, you guys. For one thing, it used to be carpeted. I don't know why that squicks me out so bad BUT IT DOES. For another, there is not one single store I want to shop at, with the exception of a Target that they sort of plunked down at the end of the mall. Obvs I needed a treat. And since I usually have to SHARE my Orange Julius with someone who shall rename nameless but is currently out buying embarrassing supplies at the grocery store, I was excited to have one all to myself. OH THE STUPIDITY! 

Oh, and can I just say that my kids were a full on NIGHTMARE today? DEAR GOD. They stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Sunday night (those would be my parents) and when I picked them up this morning we drove directly to Nai Nai and Ye Ye's house (those would be Phillip's parents) because we always see them on Mondays. With the exception of some not-wanting-to-go-to-bed and a brand new baby monitor that mysteriously transmits a late-night Spanish language radio program, my parents said the children were angels which is what they ALWAYS say. 

Of course, they were shocking little BEASTS at Nai Nai and Ye Ye's house. Well, I wasn't around for the first couple hours, as I was running errands and cheerfully slurping up an elixir of Your Evening Plans Are Good And Ruined at the mall, and then when I got back both kids and both grandparents were playing outside. Which means I got to read my new book, totally unawares of a future involving 1) beasts and 2) impressive and near-instant weight loss. 

But later on Jack was out of control. Like, CRRRRAZY. This kid is a master manipulator, Internet, and as soon as I had him corralled on one issue he was well on his way to another. Luckily for him he has a mother who is constantly second guessing herself which means he has puh-LENTY of time to formulate his next round of misbehavior. He pitched himself off a chair today, Internet. LANDED ON HIS HEAD. Wouldn't eat. Wouldn't sit down. Was going to whine us all to DEATH. And the whole time I kept telling myself to cool down, because OBVS he was tired. Right? Right? (He IMMEDIATELY fell asleep in the car when we left, so yes, I was right, but I still think he deserved an hour or two in solitary confinement with a large block of ice for a chair.)

And MOLLY. You guys, ever since we got back from Hawaii she has been super glued to my midsection. Sometimes I can pry her off and get her happy with someone else and she forgets. But the minute she sees me it's MAAWWWWMEEEE! MAWWWWWMMEEEEE! and too bad if I want to get anything done that day! This is also our baby who has always gone to sleep by herself, never needed the drawn out routines that her brother must have every night, even ASKS for bed and practically DIVES into it. But ever since our trip we are having the hardest time getting her to bed at night. She whines and whines and we hold her because CIO was never the answer with her. It takes FOREEEEEVER. We would like the pre-Hawaii Molly back, please. 

Right now my husband, after putting the children to bed and fetching my "supplies", is taking all the garbage out. SAINT. Would you like more evidence? He bought me the cutest little bag for our anniversary - I can't find a picture of it online, but visualize this in blue. And the Bare Escentuals eye makeup kit was inside it because he read about it ON MY BLAWG. Romantic Sigh. And guess what I gave him? NOTHING! WIFE FAIL! No! Wait! I gave him Dealing With Everything While The Other Parent Runs To The Bathroom! 

This is, quite possibly, the lamest post I have ever EVER written. And that would be saying something. THE END.


Seven

Pretty much all I want to say about this year is that we got through it.

Us

And that maybe in our 8th year we will learn to 1) take better pictures and 2) not have to scrounge through other people's pictures in order to find one single picture of us together.

By the time you read this I will be wearing a little dress and hot shoes and eating a dinner I probably won't like because the restaurant (for which we have a gift certificate) is too fancy and fancy is completely wasted on me. Oh, and confidential to Jenny Ryan, our anniversary is the twenty-eighth, which means this isn't even our real anniversary and you know what we are doing on our real anniversary? Phillip is staying home with the kids so I can go out with friends. HOW ROMANTIC.

Anniversaries. Maybe sometimes you don't have to be super sentimental? A super sappy and/or angst-filled-yet-ultimately-triumphant blog post is not required? Perhaps it's enough to mark the day with overpriced food and a movie of questionable merit and call it good. Onwards and upwards. 


An unspecified number of random Friday thoughts

1. I haven't said anything about the wedding because I want to post pictures too and my pictures are HORRRRRIBLE. And not, like, "oh, that angle makes me look like a linebacker" horrible (although I have a few of those) but just generally horrible, as in "perhaps your trusty blogger could benefit from a handful of photography classes." That or they're just not pictures of anything GOOD. I don't have one single picture of me in that stupid dress, or me with the bride, or the ceremony, or anything good at the reception and I'm just thoroughly disgusted with myself. So I'm waiting to see what my FIL's pictures are like and then maybe MAYBE I will write about the wedding. GRRR.

2. Photography is one of those things I wish I was good at, but will never be a thing I'm good at. Other things in this category: sewing, Photoshop, playing the guitar, singing, color schemes, doing makeup, swing dancing, drawing. I'd be a MOST unaccomplished Austen heroine. 

3. I've read some books in the past month or two. I could not finish Mennonite In A Little Black Dress, I'm sorry. I felt like the author would have been better off with an anonymous blog. The Mysterious Benedict Society was a good read. The characters took a reeeeeally long time to interest me but I'll definitely pick up the next one. I read The Myth Of You And Me by Leah Stewart the week Phillip was out of town. There were a lot of lines in that book I wish I'd written. It's a story about best friendship and while I sort of hated the main character, I also sympathized with and had a strange understanding of her. I really liked it, in other words. And then on vacation I brought along Through The Glass, Darkly which is a Commissario Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon. My parents have been reading these for years and I always shunned them because 1) I hate books that are too much about setting (these all take place in Venice) and 2) I was trying to read REAL books, not murder mysteries. But I gave in one day and I'm so glad, because I LOVE Commissario Brunetti and I LOVE Venice and I LOVE THESE MURDER MYSTERIES. Seriously, these are good thinky reads. 

4. I played volleyball tonight for the first time in FOREVAH and it was awesome, even when I forgot to pull up my knee pads and dove for a ball and ended up with a giant strawberry on my knee. Right next to the scabs from scraping my knee against the coral in Hanauma Bay. HAWT. 

5. I weeded my garden today. And by "weed" I mean "dug up the entire top layer of dirt." My garden is embarrassing, you guys. I still have most of my tomatoes, a few green beans and my snap peas are going strong, but all the little plants in between were either drowned or eaten. (By slugs, my mother thinks. UGH!) And then all these little grassy weeds green in and it was just a carpet of plants I did not plant. So I went out there during Molly's marathon nap and brought along the boy, who used his plastic Fisher Price shovel. Phillip and I are both noticing his Parental Attention Deficit today, so I felt dorkily proud that this was something we could do together without a meltdown (his) or a screaming fit (me). He really did help, too, and was so proud of himself the entire time. Poor little guy. He deserves a nicer mommy.

6. The sun was so warm today I ALMOST felt like I was back in Hawaii. ALMOST.

7. My anniversary is Monday. I am including this here so my husband remembers the actual day. (Before we went on our trip he asked me what kind of fun thing we were going to do for our anniversary and I said, "Uh, I don't know, go out to dinner?" and he said, "Maybe my parents will keep the kids and we can go out in Waikiki at night!" and I said, "WE WILL NOT BE IN HAWAII FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY GO LOOK AT A CALENDAR GAAAAHHHH."

8. I am still thinking about Other Bridesmaid preaching the Bare Escentuals gospel at me. Do any of you guys use this stuff? Thoughts? What I really want is something that combats the dark-circled empty-eyed zombie look I have every morning. 

9. I'm starving. I just want everyone to know that it's taking all of my willpower not to break into the stack of chocolate covered macadamia nuts we brought home to give as GIFTS. I am physically restraining my own self from eating my own GIFTS. For shame. 

night night


I was a better mom on vacation

Well, today was pretty horrible. I could either hold Molly and get stuff done, or I could have a small person clawing at my leg moaning "holdmeholdmeholdme" while attempting to get stuff done. I alternated off and on, as you do, and the whole time I am cursing my existence because the other child is being a hellbeast as well and it seriously did not occur to me that he was just trying to get some attention too until, oh, four o'clock. I'm just smart like that. And do you want to know what happened around four o'clock? I'd finally gotten my barftastic, overtired, miserable, unhappy and possibly sick daughter asleep and was going to put her down in my bed since all of her barf sheets were in the wash. And while I'm doing this Jack waltzes in and starts SINGING and JUMPING and SHRIEKING and throwing himself onto the bed and I am FURIOUS because he's going to wake up Molly and then I am SCREWED. And he wouldn't listen to me and wouldn't get out and ignored my repertoire of Mean Scary Faces and I finally just had to put (a very much awake) Molly down on the bed and chase after his scrawny little butt. I yelled. OH HOW I YELLED. I'd just HAD it, you know? I QUIT! And Jack bursts into tears and says, "I just want to sleep with you TOO!" 

Oh internet, I am crying just typing that. I don't get to quit because I am FIRED.

Let's talk about something else, shall we? How about parenting SUCCESS, as exemplified by this past week in Tropical Paradise. I've written all about the nighttime sleeping arrangements for Parenting on Thursday, but I'll give you the rest of my tips and tricks right here. 

Tip #1: Bring babysitters! Who thought of taking the grandparents along? That person was brilliant! Oh right, IT WAS ME. It's especially effective if your babysitters' idea of good time is "Hanging Out With The Preschool Set". We sent them over to Nai Nai's room every morning. I never once gave those kids a bath or got them dressed in the morning. Phillip's parents washed them and fed them and entertained them in the afternoons and, basically, any time Phillip and I wanted to be doing something else. Which was, well, ALL THE TIME. Most mornings we were out meeting up with friends and most afternoons we were finding other things to do besides sitting around the hotel room while the kid who deigned to nap napped and the kid who wouldn't nap watched a DVD. Even the morning before we left, we were ushered out of the hotel and told to go have breakfast by ourselves, take one last stroll on the beach. Don't have to tell me twice!

Tip #2: Know easy going people! This is a great tip. When you are making plans with easy going people, ESPECIALLY easy going people who have kids, no one is mad when the pizza is forty minutes late or your kid, say, barfs in the hallway during the party. 

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Moments before the barf.
 

Tip #3: Give in! Kids don't want to go to bed? Want cookies for breakfast? Prefer Naked over Swimsuit? WHY NOT? You're on vacation! Who cares! Here's a little secret from me to you: when you PLAN to give in, when you are already in the Giving In MINDSET, you aren't being manipulated or losing or otherwise demonstrating your utter failure at parenting. You are taking the easy way out because the easy way is what you DO on vacation! It's ALLOWED!  

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Portrait of a man who knows how to pick his battles. 

Everything else good? That was just luck. Total LUCK that the kids took naps nearly every day (BOTH of them). Perhaps those babysitters really wore them out, who knows, but by Wedding Day, when it was imperative that both kids be moderately pleasant in the evening, they were both (BOTH!) taking three hour naps in the afternoon. Their eyes would start to droop - not always at the same time, but that was okay - and we'd just stick them in a random bed AND THEY WOULD STAY ASLEEP. If this was not The Universe trying to advance-make-up-for today I don't know WHAT it was. 

The kids spent most mornings on the beach. Early, because that's when they woke up, and because it wasn't so hot and the crowds weren't out. We bought them sand toys at an ABC Store the day after we got there and they were good to go. My in-laws took them to the zoo...

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Contemplating what it means to be an elephant living in Waikiki.
  

...and the morning of the wedding they all went to the aquarium while I was getting my hair done. Our local friend rented car seats for us - total lifesaver in the Hauling Our Crap Through The Airport Department. And God bless Google Maps for iPhone, without which we would still be stuck on H-1 trying to find the stupid turnoff for the stupid karaoke joint. (Seriously, I am never going anywhere unfamiliar again without Google Maps and an iPhone.) 

Oh, and I brought a TON of food, because this is what I wished I'd done on our Disneyland trip. But I hadn't factored in my in-laws, who promptly went to Safeway and bought enough supplies for a MONTH in Hawaii and who, every day, stopped at Fatty's Chinese Kitchen for PROPER nourishment. Perhaps I ate those Cocoa Puffs all by myself. 

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Proof that I did not make that name up.
  


I miss them

Oh internet, I have twelve million things I want to tell you but I am All Aflutter over which thing FIRST and maybe not THAT thing and would anyone be interested in that OTHER thing and oh dear maybe I should just post some pictures and be done with it. 

Except uploading the pictures is Phillip's job and he is doing homework. SO. (SORRY MOM!)

Logistically, relationally, weddingly, every possible way in which to -ly, things went as well as they could possibly go. I am serious. From the flights to the navigating around town to the hanging out with people we hadn't seen in forever to the wedding itself. I mean, my mascara didn't even disintegrate and settle into the wrinkles under my eyes like it ALWAYS does. This trip was THAT charmed. 

Probably the most amazing thing was that I managed to go the entire week without a sunburn. 

No, the MOST amazing thing is how events like these always produce tight and steadfast bonds with the people experiencing the event alongside you. The last time I saw Other Bridesmaid was the day we both graduated from college, nine years ago and we weren't really friends with each other so much as just friends with the bride. But she was my best friend this week - a total and near-instant tie. I always knew we would be friends if we'd spent any time together, so this was proof. We talked nonstop about every aspect of motherhood, and I do mean EVERY ASPECT. We talked about our hair and dresses, she tried to teach me the Gospel of Bare Escentuals, we shopped together, ate together, wondered together whether the bride would be annoyed if we spent the hour between picture taking and the ceremony drinking a beer in the hotel bar. She lives very far away and I found myself sort of distraught over the fact that I wanted to keep in touch with her and how silly is that, everyone knows it's only a temporary Big Event Relationship, but then SHE'S the one who mentioned staying in touch when we were saying goodbye and, well, wouldn't that be awesome?

There was a photobooth at the wedding and I have these pictures of myself and Other Bridesmaid and Maid of Honor, and then another set of the three of us with the bride and I have looked at them several times since we got home, feeling sort of sad. Maybe I'll scan them for you. 

I want to tell you what it was like to be the SAHM in a group of women focused on their careers. I want to talk about island-style. I want to tell you what worked and what didn't work with the kids. I want to tell you about the food and the views and show you the shoes and the dress and oh I HAVE to tell you about this wedding because whenever I asked about it and the bride said, "Oh, it won't be too big," and "No, it's not going to be fancy or anything, don't get excited" she was LYING. 

I wrote all that to remind myself. And to warn you, in case you want to skip out of here for a week or so.

My friend the bride is coming up here next month and part of that time I'll be at another wedding, this time in Los Angeles, but when we come home we already have a date at her favorite pizza joint. And I told her that we're coming back to Hawaii for our 10 year anniversary, although maybe another island, maybe Maui? (Phillip doesn't know this yet, although I'm sure he'll agree.) And she recommended some amazing resort on Lanai so now all I have to do is win the lottery or rob a bank because people, Hawaii is always somewhere where you have to go back


Seven quick picture-less (sorry Mom!) takes

1. I wrote something for Parenting this week. You can find it here. It's about Jack and warding off the Monsters.

2. I also wrote something for Style Lush, a post the company I plugged linked to on their Facebook page. I felt no small amount of glee over this fact. Sure, no one commented and everyone probably thinks my taste in bags totally sucks, but I GOT A LINK ON FACEBOOK! Social media WIN!

3. Every morning we get up, hang around in our pajamas and snack on the sofa bed that no one is actually sleeping in. This morning we are snacking on grapes and strawberries (yesterday it was cinnamon toast crunch and cocoa puffs, lest you think we are shooting for Healthy). Then we head over to Nai Nai and Ye Ye's "house" for REAL breakfast, mostly because Ye Ye does not approve of their snacky grazy first breakfast. I am loving these mornings with Phillip around and no bus to catch. 

4. I'm attempting a kind of scrapbook with the kids. I bought filler photo album pages and every day we sit down and I say, "What did you do today, Jack?" And I write down whatever he says. For Molly I sort of write a little story about what Molly did that day and what she liked and where she went. Sometimes she'll give me a word or two to write down, but it's hard to get her to "remember" things. Then I let them color on the page and if we have a ticket or brochure I glue that in. The PLAN is to print out some pictures when we get home and glue those in too, but I'm REALLY bad at that you guys. I have a zillion scrapbooks from the pre-digital camera days and NONE since we had kids. SAD! So bringing it along and doing it as we go is the only thing I see working. And then they'll probably stay in their unbound, picture-less form until I'm ready to unload the attic of all the kids' things. 

5. Yesterday we went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and I was COLD. Cold! In Hawaii! I was so cold in the water I got out and spent the rest of our time there drying out on the sand. I felt guilty, you know, like I was wasting my time or not fully appreciating things, but dudes! I was COLD! And I wouldn't rinse off because I didn't want to get cold all over again, which meant I went to lunch a salty sandy disgusting mess. HOT.

6. We got our nails done last night and my friend wanted an AMERICAN manicure instead of a FRENCH because she claimed the white part wasn't so glaringly white. And being the dutiful bridesmaids we are, we all said we would get the same thing. I happened to have my nails done first and my friend saw what an American manicure looked like and promptly asked for a French. Sigh. I don't really like it either - it's waaaay too pink - but I'm chalking it up to Dutiful Bridesmaiding. How would she have known if I hadn't tested the food, so to speak?!

7. We're about to wander the two blocks down to the beach. Waikiki isn't TOO crowded in the mornings, and it's not like the kids care. The rehearsal dinner is tonight and then my day starts at 10 tomorrow morning, with hair appointments and pictures and worrying over all the details left to worry about. Sunday will be a day of rest. And Monday we fly home, browner, chubbier, our tummies full of the chocolate covered macadamia nuts I plan to buy in bulk at Costco before we go to the airport. YUM.


In which Jack leaves his mark

I thought I'd have lots of fabulous vacationy things to tell you, jealous-making stories, blah blah blah, but it turns out I am REALLY TIRED at night. Which is when I have time to sit at the [incredibly slow, like, almost DIAL UP internet speed] computer. I mean, it's only NINE and aren't I in Waikiki? Shouldn't I be out sipping a cocktail in a hotel lounge somewhere? But it's midnight at home and none of us are quite used to the time change yet and what's working out is putting both [exhausted] kids to bed in the same room and sitting quietly in the living room until they fall asleep which means staying home and WE ARE TIRED. I went to bed at 8:30 local time last night. For shame. 

But we make up for it by getting out of the hotel by 8. Yesterday it was the beach, today it was the swap meet, tomorrow it's snorkeling. Friday morning is the first morning-with-nothing-to-do, which means, I think, just wandering down to the beach and lazing around. Malia, my local friend, thinks this is terrible. Waikiki! It's so CROWDED! The parking is IMPOSSIBLE! But I don't have to worry about parking and I don't mind the crowds. She forgets I am a pasty white Washingtonian, and even a crowded white sandy beach is a white sandy beach. (Quoth Malia, "THEY HAD TO SHIP THAT SAND IN!")

And in between the beaching and all out lazy touristing on a tropical island, we pretend to be locals and go to the mall and see friends and go to karaoke. (Do you GO to karaoke? Do you DO karaoke? Obvs it was my FIRST TIME.) So, yeah. Karaoke. That's what Malia wanted to do for her "shower", which wasn't really a shower because we are all sort of anti-shower and the guys were there and it was mostly Sing Really Awful 80s Songs And Eat Pizza. Fine by me! And I love to sing, I really do, but I am a terrible singer and told everyone who would listen that I would require several bottles of wine before I sang 'Manic Monday'. But! It turns out I just need to hold the microphone kind of sort of a ways away from my mouth. Problem solved! Phillip and I busted out the Cake (not really all that great for karaoke, as it turns out) and talked the rest of the Gleeks in attendance into 'Don't Stop Believin''. So. Not a total loss on the singing front, I think. 

My poor kids - their schedules are off. OFF. And you know I am a Schedule Stickler. Today a friend asked me if I was this organized with Jack, or is it only now that I have two. And I laughed because 1) I am not organized so much as Coping and 2) I was probably more anal with just Jack. He's the one who lives and dies by the routine for starters, but I just can't always stick to the schedule now that we have two. ANYWAY. They're doing awesome, even though naps aren't always happening or at a good time, even though part of the day's plan always seems to be, "Hopefully they'll fall asleep in the car!" 

So I'm telling you all this because Jack was a whiny clingy baby at the karaoke place. Just a real treat. He changed his tune, though, when another 3 year old boy arrived, and both of them realized there were balloons just hanging out in the corner. I went from worrying about his crappy attitude to his all out zany effervescence in a matter of minutes. Running around, dancing all crazy, chasing the other boy (who chased him back) and being absolutely charming to absolutely everyone. All the other guests brought their kids so it wasn't one of those things where I was all, "Oh, is he being cute or is it just me who thinks he's being cute?" By which I mean, I got to ignore him while I drank beer and made fun of the dude singing Kenny Chesney.

Phillip kept trying to get Jack to eat pizza which he did, eventually. And then he was putting on a dancing show in the front of the room and running back to me every thirty seconds for a bite of cake. And running behind me to Phillip who was pushing juice on him. Then more dancing. More running. More cake. And I wasn't really paying attention, again, because I was deciding between 'Material Girl' and 'More Than Words' but then Jack came up to me and said, quite suddenly, "Mommy, my tummy hurts." 

And internet, he got that LOOK. That look that I know SO WELL. The look he hasn't had in FOREVER. But I KNEW. I dropped my plate, picked him up, carted him outside, and as I stood uncertainly in the hallway trying to remember where the bathroom was, Jack barfed all over the empty doorway of another karaoke room. OMG.

AND I JUST STOOD THERE. Because, well, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! I had to tell someone about the barf! But I was covered in it (I thought, for some reason, that I COULD CATCH IT IN MY HANDS) and I couldn't leave Jack standing there (barf freaks him out) and GAAAAHHHH! 

I ended up leaving Jack (5 feet away, but still), opening the door to our karaoke room and barking, "PHILLIP. I NEED YOU." Which he didn't hear until a friend of ours smacked him and said, "YOUR WIFE IS TALKING TO YOU." So then Phillip came out (with Molly! How helpful!) and that's when I raced to the bathroom with Jack and Phillip got stuck with having to inform the management. OMG. 

(I just reread this and DUDE it is SO ME to worry about The Management Discovering The Barf before worrying about how to clean up my OWN CHILD. I mean, what if they thought I just LEFT it there! Like I wasn't going to CLAIM THE BARF! Rule follower! Rule follower! FOR SHAME.)

By the time I returned with Jack, both of us as wiped down as possible in a tiny icky bathroom, the most helpful most wonderful most cheerful most favorite person in the entire state of Hawaii was mopping up my son's barf. With a smile on his face. "Oh no problem, ma'am! It's fine! Don't worry about it!" And you KNOW I wanted to DIE. DIEEEEE. I wanted to hug him, lay a big slurpy kiss on him, but I reeked of barf and he was already elbow deep. So we hurriedly said our goodbyes to the party, spent about ten minutes telling the employee that we thought he was the best human being we'd ever had the privilege to meet, and drove straight home. O.M.G.

SO I AM TIRED. There. Big exciting stuff happening here in Hawaii. You cannot go on vacation from this mom gig, people. You heard it here first.