Archive for August, 2016

Confusing husband

August 19th, 2016

People are funny. No, really. Just so very curious.

My husband went out for his usual bike ride. He, as I've said before, is a dalmation. He needs intense daily exercise or he goes nuts, as do those around him.


It's a 30 mile loop that he does in less than two hours. I was home and noticed he was overdue. Must be telepathy, because I shortly thereafter got a call from him.

"Can you pick me up? I got a flat," he asked. "I'm just down the street by the school."

"You're just three blocks away. I hate driving your car," I whined. These aren't even New York city length blocks. They're little suburban blocks, very short.

He cajoled, "I don't feel like walking home."

Really, Claus? You bike 30 miles and you can't walk three blocks? You can spontaneously enter a triathlon at the last minute and still place first in your age group, and you can't walk three blocks?

Curses, his car. It's so big and it has all these buttons that I don't know what to press. I just drove off and left the dang garage door open. I was all panicky about driving a huge SUV.

He was at the school, as promised. I pulled into the parking lot so he could load up his bike. All these stupid buttons; I didn't even know which one to pop the trunk.

When we arrived home he saw the garage open. I explained that, in case he didn't figure this out over the last 16 years, I'm a Luddite and I have no idea which button is for the garage. Stupid fancy cars nowadays.

"This one - haven't you seen me do this a thousand times by now?" he chuckled.

"I don't pay attention to you," I reminded, shrugging on the role of the old married couple like a tattered shawl.

"Thanks," he frowned.

"What?" I said.

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Slumber party

August 17th, 2016

Olivia and I had a slumber party. With each other. It was so much FUN!

It didn't quite start out that way. It was the usual bedtime tuck-in process, which for us means a little one-on-one chat time. When I was working, the talks were ten to 30 minutes.

Now, though, the sky's the limit! Or, until someone gets tired.

Boy, can we talk. And talk. And talk. She is so much fun to talk to.

I felt like a nine year old myself, when it feels like I spent every school weekend at my best friend Steph's house and then the entire summer.

We talked about hopes and fears, goals and challenges, gossip and funny stories. It just kept going and going.

She told me about pinch pots and disco parties at summer fun, what the boy who likes her did today, and small fruits that would be nice to craft into a lei (instead of a cellophane candy lei.)

We compared favorite candies, places to go for Girls' Day together, and how much we love each other (always involves astronomy and superlatives.)

I shared gross pet stories (e.g.: dog enema), which resulted in a burst of energy and raucous laughter. This is the point during a sleep over in which I would be walking to her room saying, "Girls. It's time to wind down and sleep."

Somewhere during all this chatter, I decided I would just stay in her bed and we could call it a sleep over. That was well received.

We actually tried a few times to go to sleep but someone would say something else and the conversation would just pick up again. We couldn't help ourselves.

Next thing you know, 90 minutes had passed. "Mommy, I really should sleep. It's 10 o'clock and I don't want to be tired tomorrow."

I can't believe we've created such a perfectly reasonable little human who would utter these sensible words. I'd have fallen out of something if I weren't already lying down.

"OK. I love talking to you, though. Good night," I said a little reluctantly. I was having such a good time.

Luckily, there's always next weekend, and I can ask her if she wants to have a sleep over again.

The dance recital mom

August 15th, 2016

Kids' recitals are funny, because all rules of traditional decorum go out the window. Olivia dances, and at the shows, every single song is punctuated by excited family and friends screaming out their dancer's name.

So it is with me. At the last many performances, I wave wildly from my seat, hoping to catch her attention. Last spring, she actually didn't see us, and she met us with indignation backstage after the event.

This time, I added yelling into my repertoire. Darn it if she's not going to know we're there. That and... I get such a thrill seeing her do her thing!

When her number started, I frantically shook my husband next to me as if he wasn't right there seeing the same thing. "Look! Look! LOOK!"

I've mentioned before that Claus is the calm one. He always just sits there quietly. I think he might wave once. He does the Queen wave. I do the Tom Hanks Castaway wave.

I let out a whoop. "Woooo! Yeah!!! OLIVIA!!! OLIVIA!!!" and gesticulated with the fervor of a person trying to make it off a desert island. Every time the lights got a little brighter, I folded a white paper in half and used that to hopefully catch her attention better.

I was so pleased with her. I'm always proud of her, but this time she really seemed to step up her stage presence and her dance moves. She is finally finding her groove in this class.

Inca, wearing the lei I made for Olivia for the show. Dog= not too happy. Child= loved it.

Inca, wearing the lei I made for Olivia for the show. Dog= not too happy. Child= loved it.

When we met her after the show this time, she said with half-amusement, half-embarassment, "Yes, I saw you waving. And waving. And waving. I was thinking, 'Mom, stop distracting me,' but I couldn't do anything because I was dancing."

"Sorry. I just get so excited! Did you hear me calling to you, too?" I asked.

"Yes. I heard that. You know, you can just tell me your row number and I'll find you. I always do," she suggested. Well, except that last time because we didn't tell her our row number.

"Uh, OK," I acquiesced. Claus shot me a side eye and snickered.

I feel like I now need to practice to be an audience member because it will take all I have to sit on my hands and shut my mouth.

Life, summed up by four scraps of paper

August 12th, 2016

My life - actually, my husband's and my life - as of late can be summed up by four scraps of paper. They're hastily scribbled names and numbers of Olivia's new friends on torn bits of whatever was handy.


Sometimes the parents wrote the information. Sometimes the kid wrote it. Sometimes Claus had to revise it with his own clarification of what was written, or who this person is.

I was (finally) cleaning off my section of the table that we have ended up dumping all our junk on. I used to be tidy, but in the last months of anchoring the morning show, I gave up. I was too tired to care.

Now I'm getting around to restoring order and I find these notes. They were collected in haste to invite to Olivia's birthday party.

I'm Virgo-organized and I normally would have immediately transcribed this contact information into my phone's address book, but this was Claus' doing. Other than not being Virgo-organized, bless his heart, he was essentially single-fathering it for the first half of 2016 while I sat catatonic on the sofa after work (or after quitting work.)

I laughed out loud when I discovered how he did it. You will never find little crumpled up snippets of paper in my purse. This man cracks me up. After it was written, he stuffed it in his pocket where it got bent and disheveled, possibly even laundered.

But he did it, the friends came to the party, and I appreciate his work. Our differences of style just amuse me.

Claus happened by as I was snickering at the notes. "We can throw those away now," he said, explaining what they were. He knew I'd never seen it before and he thought I was deciphering the scrawl.

Wait, I said. I wanted a photo first.

A photo? For what? he asked.

"Because I want to remember that this is who we were for the first half of this year," I laughed. "Torn, disheveled, disorganized, used up, barely making it."

He laughed too. Then we gladly threw the papers away.

Two minute meditation

August 10th, 2016

I like to meditate. I've always been attracted to spirituality. Training to be a yoga teacher enhanced my desire.

The June 15, 2016 issue of TIME magazine wrote, "A new study found that while most people pick up the practice for exercise or stress relief, many people say they keep it up for the spirituality." The exact sentiment was repeated again in the July 4, 2016 issue (page 18.)

I would even meditate for two minutes in the wee hours of the morning before I went to work at KHON2. It would be 3:30 a.m. and I would stand outside by my car and look at the night sky, visualizing a positive outcome to the day.

It grounds and centers me. Now that I'm housewifing it again, I have more time to do it for longer than two minutes.

In times of devastating stress, I've relied on spirituality to carry me. Sometimes, I only had myself to lean on, and that had to be enough. You have to be your own resource.

I've always felt teaching this to my daughter would be a good tool for her toolbox. She's old enough to start. Understanding that she's nine and her attention span will be short, I am keeping it to two minutes for now.

On the first day, I prefaced, "Let's do something new together. I'm going to teach you to meditate. It's going to feel boring now but it will help you when you are grown up. If you're stressed out it will help you feel better."

"But I can just come home and talk to you about it," she countered.

"Well, if Mommy's not there," I clarified.

"Then I'd just come home and hug Inca," she revised.

I love that kids think today is forever. I kind of wish some parts of it would be, like this.

There's a lot of different ways to meditate, but all of them share the common idea that you calm your mind and not think about your To Do list or how you're going to solve some problem.

I told her to think about a nice color and try to feel how that color makes her feel. We sit on yoga mats and stretch a little first (yoga's purpose is to prepare the body for meditation, so with Olivia, I do a very abbreviated version.)

Then we take three deep breaths and I set the timer. I enjoy it. Olivia is fidgety, but she tolerates it for me.

I like doing this with her, and I really hope in the long, long run she'll embrace it and learn to benefit from it as I have.

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