Archive for December, 2013

Ernie's legacy

December 20th, 2013

I mentioned in a previous blog that our family friend, Ernie, died. His hobby was to make dollhouses for children. He had such a soft spot for little ones.

He gifted Olivia one when she was born, and it was well-loved for years. In the past year, though, she lost interest in it. It was just taking up space in her room, so we decided to give it away.

I asked her half a dozen times over a couple week's period if she was OK with giving it away, and she said she was totally fine with it.

I looked for a new home, but not everyone has space for a four foot dollhouse, so it took a while. Finally, I met a preschool teacher, Ruby, who accepted it. She didn't have a lot of space in her class, either, but was touched by the backstory of who made it and why.

The week after I dropped it off at her classroom, Ernie died. What timing!

I mentioned it to Ruby, who was saddened to hear of the loss of her indirect benefactor. In his honor, she actually posted a laminated information sheet about Ernie on the back of the dollhouse, telling parents about his story and why this toy was so special.

I went by to look at it. Very nice; such a fitting tribute to a man whose life revolved around making people happy. I'm absolutely certain that if Ernie could know what was happening, he would love the idea that his handiwork will bring smiles to the faces of dozens of little children in this little corner of the world.

Posted in child, craft | 1 Comment »

Cleaned room

December 18th, 2013

Olivia is not the neatest kid. She usually leaves a small trail of toys behind her, and it's anyone's guess if she will make her bed in the morning. I'm always nagging her to clean up.


To my complete surprise, she decided to clean her desk! She proudly called me down one Saturday, late in the afternoon. "Look at my desk, Mommy!"

It looked BEAUTIFUL. It looked better than my desk. I praised her to the hilt.

She had been playing in her room with her neighborhood BFF Kira, and somehow, the two of them thought it would be fun to tidy up. Whatever! I'll take it!

Next morning, I went in to wake her up and... then I saw how she cleaned up. Everything was piled up three feet high in a space against the wall. Just jammed in there with no rhyme or reason.


Oh my gosh!

I gently said, "Do you think you want to clean up this pile next?"

"Nope!" she cheerfully stated, and then skipped out of the room.

Oh. OK. Maybe I should just take my victories where I can find them.

Glasses girl

December 16th, 2013

My friend at work, Serah, just shelled out hundreds of dollars for her kid's first pair of glasses. The kid is FIVE!

She took her daughter Bailey in for an eye exam. The doctor discovered a pretty bad astigmatism and prescribed glasses. Serah felt guilty for not realizing her kid couldn't see that well for months.



When they left the doctor's office, Bailey still had dilated pupils, so the nurse gave her some big, senior-citizeny dark glasses to wear. She was feeling her way around with her arms outstretched calling for her mother. "Mom? I can't see you. Where are you?"

Which, of course, gave Serah more guilt because she isn't used to having to escort Bailey in this manner. It was a crowded office and people looked at Serah like, Way to help your blind kid?

As they continued on their way to the eyeglass shop, people gave Serah sympathetic looks. She said one person even touched her arm and said, "You'll get through this." They thought Bailey was blind.

So by the time they got to the eyeglass store, Serah, feeling totally guilty, said, "Hon, pick out any pair of glasses you like. Anything to make you feel better. Anything you want." Which really meant, anything to make Serah's conscience feel better.

The five year old picked out the only purple frames on the racks. It was Juicy Couture brand, nearly $400. Her husband blew a gasket.

"You couldn't have added, "Anything you want... from this $50 rack?" I teased Serah.

photo 1

If Bailey is anything like my daughter, the glasses might last a month because they'll be tossed at the bottom of a school bag or flung off during a spirited game of chase at recess. Now she's locked into biannual replacements of $400 glasses that get stepped on, sat on, scratched, or torn apart in a fight.

Aah, guilt. Such a wonderful lubricant for the consumer spending sector of the economy. But Bailey will look marvelous!


December 13th, 2013

I often, at random moments, will tell my family I love them. They are used to it.

Husband and I were watching a movie one night when I blurted out, "I love you."

He said, "I love you, too."

"Oh, no. I meant that's the next line in the movie," I said.

Frowny face from husband. Unintentional dis!

So I deserved this one not too long after movie night:

"Olivia is a great kid," I mooned in one of those temporary "I'm crazy about my kid" moments of parenting that, you know, get interspersed with other moments of "I"m so tired I'm going crazy" or "That darn kid is driving me crazy." So what I've determined is that parenting makes you crazy in one way or another.

"Yes," Claus replied, "and she gets all her brains from you."

How sweet, I thought.

"You still have a little bit of brains left," he finished.

Oh, not so sweet.


Karma sucks

December 11th, 2013

Someone called me Auntie. Someone local, at the recycling center. He saw my buckets of bottles and offered to carry them with me from the car.

I thanked him when we finished. "No problem, Auntie!" this man enthusiastically shaka-ed.

He looked to be 10 to 15 years younger than me.

Oh, snap. Someone 10 to 15 years younger than me wants to address me as Auntie?

Buuuuut... I suppose it's karma payback.

Last month I was at a party of Claus' friends consisting of the local University of Hawaii swimming/ water polo community. My high school classmate - we shall call him J.A. - and his sister swam at UH, but I had never met the sister.

Claus came walking up to me at this party with a woman. "Diane, I'd like you to meet J.A.'s --- "


He said, "Or, sister."

Then the sister kind of groans and says, "Wow..."


JA's sister, if you're reading this figuring out it's you, I am SO SORRY. Actually, I really hope you are not reading this and being reminded of my horrible, horrible gaffe.

After the awkward pause in which I'm trying to figure out what to say to salvage this, I stutter, "No, sorry, I mean, so like, and I, well." I was so inarticulate, I made Miss Teen USA competitor South Carolina 2007 look like President Obama's speechwriter.

In my defense she is JA's older sister, but still. I know, my bad.

I could have opened a new Payless Shoe Source with all the feet I just pulled out of my mouth.

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