Archive for October, 2012

Mojito madness

By
October 19th, 2012



The lovely Stacy Loe, my friend and former colleague, invited me to a viewing party she coordinated when the Blue Angels were performing. At this party, she was serving mojitos, so I had one. It was refreshing, cool, and minty. I love mint.

The ladies of the party. 8 of us are or were news anchors here in Hawaii.

The ladies of the party. 8 of us are or were news anchors here in Hawaii.

Steve Uyehara, Howard Dashefsky, Bill Paris, Mike

Steve Uyehara, Howard Dashefsky, Bill Paris, Mike

Olivia saw it, and asked for a sip. "I'll give you your own," I offered. "Mommy's has alcohol. We're going to make you a virgin one. That means no alcohol."

I'm sure she did not care one whit what I just said. She took the cup and enjoyed the fuzzy club soda, sweetened with simple syrup. It looked just like the big girls' glasses, which was the best part.

Or the worst part.

I became engrossed in a conversation with fellow newsroom gals Malika Dudley, Teri Okita, and Yunji DeNies. I had the cup on the ground. It got mixed up with the other glasses, apparently.

After about 15 minutes, Olivia started acting very strangely, tearing up and down the deck and tossing plastic lawn chairs around. She would then come over to me and cackle in my ear.

It was so distracting, it broke up my ability to have this conversation. Plus, I was about to leave anyway, so I took this opportunity to bid adieu. I picked up my glass and started to leave.

Malika asked, "Is that soda?" Malika was, at this point, two weeks from giving birth, so I thought she was thirsty and wanted one.

"No, it's a mojito," I said. I was about to offer to make her a virgin.

"Do you know your daughter was drinking from your glass?" she said. "I saw her take a drink."

I just about dropped my glass. Oh, that explains the super erratic behavior. Visions of college parties 15 years from now pass through my head.

The mojito was actually super light on the alcohol, but we still made sure Olivia drank a lot of water before bed. She fell asleep rather quickly that night!

So beautiful

By
October 17th, 2012



My daughter surprises and delights me in the smallest and most unexpected ways. Last week I was getting ready to attend a dinner event, and I had to put on makeup. I don't use too much makeup anymore now that I no longer anchor.

I never did wear much makeup off-air to begin with, but in particular, I work at a very conservative place, so light and natural makeup is the grooming standard.

On this night, I had on all my war paint and I also actually styled my hair with lots of hairspray and curling irons.

Olivia knew we were going out because she was going to her friend's house for a sleep over. (Her first; that's another blog.) She came into my bedroom to look at me as I was nearly ready.

"Mommy, are we ready to go to Amanda's house yet?" she asked.

I turned around. She looked at me. "Holy cow! Look at you! I'm outta here!" she yelled, and bolted to the living room.

I was confused by the wild reaction. Did I look that bad? Am I that out of practice with dramatic, nighttime makeup? Or maybe she's just being a goofball, as usual. I finished prepping.

As I walked towards the living room, I could hear her telling my husband, "Mommy is so beautiful! It's crazy! I'm outta here!" She was repeating herself and hurling herself on the sofa, acting silly.

I remember feeling like this myself when my mother would get dressed up. In fact, she still has a kindergarten drawing I made of her saying that she's so pretty when she dresses up to go to dinner or a funeral. Ha!

When Olivia saw me, she directed the compliment at me. "Mommy! You look so beautiful!" and laughing.

Cute, so cute.

I guess this old mommy can still clean up OK.

First sleep over

By
October 15th, 2012



My husband and I had a dinner function to attend, and some good friends of ours offered to babysit Olivia. We know them because our daughters were best friends in preschool, so they've known each other for two years now.

In the beginning, we scheduled some play dates so the girls could hang out, but we ended up having such great couples chemistry, we have befriended the family and the extended family. What an absolutely lucky occurrence that we don't take for granted!

Amanda is the girl's name, and she now attends a different grade school. I'm not sure if it's the distance, the particular personalities, or simply the gender (people say girls are dramatic from the get go), but sometimes the girls will get along famously, and sometimes they fight. Sometimes it'll all happen within one play date. We think Amanda is really darling so I think this is just what happens with little kids.

Anyway, we were preparing to drop Olivia off at Amanda's house for a sleepover - the first time Olivia has slept at a friend's house. Olivia has slept at my parents' house and at a calabash aunt's house, and she's had a girlfriend sleep at our house, but she's never done it at someone else's house. Exciting!

We prepped Olivia for the event by remind her of her manners and telling her what our schedule was (that we'd be back in the morning.) We packed the overnight bag. She was very happy to be having a big play date with her good friend.

Suddenly, to my surprise, she slumped over and started pouting. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"I don't want Amanda to see me sucking my thumb," she explained. "She'll make fun of me." Olivia sucks her thumb when she's tired and about to fall asleep.

I've asked her to stop and I've pointed out that big girls don't do that, but she won't. "It's too hard! I just can't!" she's insisted before.

"Well, I'm sure Amanda won't make fun of you, but I'll also tell her mommy you're sensitive about it, so she is aware of how you're feeling," I offered.

"But I will be SO embarrassed if she teases me!" Olivia complained. And so went the conversation for a while, until we arrived at the house.

Next day, we went back to pick her up. Everything went fine, said the parents. The girls got along well, no bickering. Then the girls danced out of the room to keep playing, so Amanda's mother whispered to me, "About the thumb-sucking. We did have a little incident last night. Amanda saw it and said, 'That's weird!' I told her people can do things differently, and that it's OK. It was fine after that."

Olivia never mentioned it after we left, so I guess it wasn't a big deal. Actually, I hope this incident encourages her to stop sucking her thumb. Maybe peer pressure will succeed where I've so far failed. Your thoughts?

Repentance

By
October 12th, 2012



Olivia constantly does things that amaze and amuse us. She was both very bad, then very good, in the same day.

It started with a scuffle at school. She slapped a classmate and got sent to the principal's office. Uh oh. When it's this bad, the parent gets a call in the middle of the day.

It's funny, because you think your child will never do these things. We listened as the school staff informed us of the punishment protocol during orientation, but we both though, Oh, that'll never be our angel.

And then it was our angel. Not even the end of first quarter and our daughter is in trouble.

To make it worse, I could not answer the telephone all day. Of all days, I had back-to-back meetings and then all kinds of priority tasks that needed to be finished by the end of the work day, which came 10 hours after I began it. Yes, it was that kind of day. So now it's dark and I'm driving home and I'm worried the principal thinks I'm a jerk for not calling back.

I had updated Claus about this, so he dealt with it when he picked her up from school. Apparently, she was already repentant.

Firstly, he asked her if anything interesting happened today. Within two minutes, she confessed to the crime.

They talked about it and she got her lecture on propriety and manners. She apologized and said she wouldn't do it again.

Secondly, when they got home, he started cooking dinner. "Daddy, you are so busy cooking, I should help you clean. Let me sweep the floor," she offered, and went to get the broom and dustpan. She swept the entire living room. She did a pretty good job.

Thirdly, she initiated her homework session and did it quickly and without complaint. "I thought I picked up the wrong child from school," Claus laughed.

Lastly, it was also her idea to make a card for the girl she hit,  so her last act of the evening before bedtime was to decorate a card and write I am sorry for hitting you Paige.

I felt bad that I got home after she was asleep, but in the debrief with Claus, he felt she got the message and that this is part of the learning curve of growing up.

In the morning, I asked gently if anything unusual happened yesterday. Olivia summed up the day. I didn't want to hammer away at the negative stuff so I focused on the lesson learned and praised her for her mitigation actions.

Luckily, I have an excellent relationship with the teacher (at least, I'd like to think so!), and I talked to the teacher when I dropped Olivia off at school. To my relief, she echoed Claus' sentiments.

I'm glad that Olivia seems to have learned from this incident, but I sure wish it would not have to take something like this to get her to clean and cooperate!

Skipped birthdays

By
October 10th, 2012



I've gotten to know Olivia's classmates a little bit, and they say the funniest things. The topic was about age, and there are several kids who are ages four and six, though the majority are age five. I was asking the four and six year olds when their birthdays are, but I guess I phrased it wrong. I asked, "When did you turn six?"

"On my birthday."

"When is that?" I followed up.

"I don't know," is what they all said to me!

My favorite answer, though, was the boy who said, "I skipped my birthday this year. I didn't have one."

Me, too, Kid. If only!

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