Archive for the ‘mom’ Category

The ol' ball and chain

January 21st, 2015

Olivia and I were at Ben Franklin Craft Store and she saw a cake topper in the wedding aisle. "Look, this guy looks trapped!" she exclaimed.

I went over to see it. There was a groom sitting, looking forlorn with a ball and chain around his ankle. There was a bride standing, looking victorious holding a key.

I explained to my seven-year-old, "This is a ball, and it's connected to his leg by a chain. It's called a ball and chain, and people joke that when you get married, you're locked in."

"But she's standing and she looks happy," questioned Olivia.

"Right. That's because the woman is usually the boss and she gets to decide when to unlock the ball and chain every now and then," I explained.

"Why is it the woman?" Olivia continued.

"Who's the boss in our house?" I asked.

"You," said my daughter without hesitation.

Now, honestly, I'd like to think we have an equal partnership. We are highly compatible. But I do think Olivia's answer is pretty funny.

"See? And when you get married, you have to find a man who lets you be the boss, too," I advised.

A lady nearby was listening and laughing. "I tell my daughters the same thing, too," she agreed.

Later, when we were checking out, the cashier recognized me from this blog. "I like your blog!" she complimented.

"Oh, thank you!" I smiled. "So you know this is the man I always make fun of?" as I gestured to my husband.

"Yes," she chuckled. "Now I get to meet him in person."

That's right. She's met the ol' ball and chain. Wait... that's me. So she's met the poor sap locked in with the ol' ball and chain. Ha!

Hawaii State Public Library System's January events

January 14th, 2015

The public library offers a number of free public events across its Oahu branches this month:

Mililani Library Presents Preschool Storytime Jan. 20 - Feb. 24 

Keiki ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a parent or caregiver, are invited to attend this free one-hour program and listen to stories and poems, learn finger plays, and sing songs.  A simple make-and-take craft will follow each storytime; crafts are available while supplies last.  No registration is needed.

Storytimes will be presented on January 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17, and 24. Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.

Mililani Public Library is located at 95-450 Makaimoimo Street.  For more information, please call the Library at 627-7470.

Award-winning Band Performs at Aina Haina Library Jan. 21

The award-winning musical group Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform in-concert at Aina Haina Public Library on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Children's Section.   Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, from Middletown, Conn., performs music that combines folk, country blues, progressive bluegrass, contemporary pop, and jazz.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band. Courtesy Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band. Courtesy Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band.

Band members include: Rani Arbo (fiddle, guitar), Andrew Kinsey (bass, banjo, and ukulele), Anand Nayak (electric and acoustic guitars) and Scott Kessel (percussion).  The band's CD Ranky Tanky (Mayhem Music; 2010 family album) won Gold Awards from the American Library Association, Parents' Choice Foundation, and National Association of Parenting Publications.  In addition to their performance, the band members will introduce themselves and discuss their style of music.

This one-hour program is suitable for all ages and is a production of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Outreach College-Statewide Cultural Extension Program. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, National Endowment for the Arts, Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Contact the library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.   Aina Haina Public Library is located at 5246 Kalanianaole Highway.  For more information, please call the Library at 377-2456.

Make Unique Greeting Cards at Kaimuki Library on Jan. 27

"Creative Greeting Cards," a free craft program, will be presented at Kaimuki Public Library on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Adult Reading Section.

Greeting card. Courtesy: Sharie Torres

Greeting card. Courtesy: Sharie Torres

Sharie Torres, who has taught the art of paper crafting for more than 10 years, will demonstrate how to create three unique greeting cards.  Registration is required for this 1½-hour, hands-on program that is limited to 15 participants.  All supplies will be provided.

The Friends of Kaimuki Library is sponsoring this program which is suitable for ages 10 and older.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.    Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed. Kaimuki Public Library is located at 1041 Koko Head Avenue.  For more information or to register, please call the Library at 733-8422.

Seminar for Inventors and Small Businesses at Aiea Library on Jan. 28
Inventors, entrepreneurs, legal professionals, and the public are invited to attend a free seminar on patent and trademark searching at the new Aiea Public Library (99-374 Pohai Place) on Wednesday, January 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Program Room.

“Patent and Trademark Searching: Essential Information You Need to Protect Your Intellectual Property” will feature presentations by Tom Turner and M. Neil Massong from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, Va.; Len Higashi of the High Technology Development Corporation, Joseph Burns of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center, and Jayna Uyehara of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Business Action Center.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Hawaii State Public Library System, the Hawaii State Library, and other donors are sponsoring this seminar.

Participants will learn step-by-step guidelines and strategies for conducting patent and trademark searches, and gain knowledge of lessons learned from local entrepreneurs.  They will discover ways to protect intellectual property rights, avoid infringement lawsuits, and learn how to launch businesses the right way.

Registration is required due to limited seating.  Call the Hawaii State Library's Federal Documents Section to register by Friday, January 23, 2015.

A seminar tie-in exhibit “Island Innovation: A Spotlight on Hawaii’s Patents and Trademarks” will be on display at the Hawaii State Library in January 2015.  The exhibit will showcase a variety of Hawaii’s patent products and iconic trademarks, from unique plants to familiar logos.

"Martial Arts in Chinese Culture" lecture on Jan. 31

Stanley Henning, a researcher of Chinese martial arts history, will conduct this free slide presentation on martial arts in Chinese culture.  Henning, who is also a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, has studied Yang Style Taijiquan and Shanxi Che in Taiwan, two popular forms of Chinese martial arts.

This one-hour program is suitable for ages 12 and older, and will include a question-and-answer session.  Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.  The new Aiea Public Library is located at 99-374 Pohai Place.  For more information, please call the Library at 483-7333.

Meet Project Runway Hawaii Finalist at Kapolei Library Jan. 31  

Courtesy: Kini Zamora

Courtesy: Kini Zamora

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fashion designer?  Meet fashion designer Kini Zamora, a recent contestant on "Project Runway" Season 13, at Kapolei Public Library on Saturday, January 31 at 2 p.m. in the Main Lobby.

Learn how this talented local boy from Kapolei followed his dreams and overcame obstacles to become one of four finalists on the Lifetime Channel's popular "Project Runway" television show, and own two successful clothing lines in Hawaii.

The Friends of the Library Kapolei is sponsoring this free one-hour program for teens and adults, ages 12 and older.   Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.    Kapolei Public Library is located at 1020 Manawai Street.  For more information, please call the Library at 693-7050.

Leading the witness

December 29th, 2014

Kids manipulate the parents into doing things, but it can go both ways. I ended up being very tired on Halloween night and didn't want to brave the rain to trick or treat. Mind you, I've done this every year for the past six years, and I remind myself that to feel less guilty for sitting this year out.

Trick or treating occurs at my bedtime. I get tired around 5:30 and I go to sleep at 6:30 p.m. 6:30 is when Olivia and our friends begin haunting the streets.

I had hopeful intentions of going along, but as the twilight neared, I told her I had to beg off and let Daddy just handle this. "No!" she pouted, and stomped her foot. "I want Mommy to go, too!"

Nice Daddy.

Nice Daddy.

"Well, if I go, it'll be a quick spin around one block and then we have to go because I'm tired. Or if Daddy takes you, it'll be the full neighborhood and playing with Amanda afterwards," I said. In the past years we've stayed out until 9:30 p.m. because everyone knows after you pillage the streets for candy, you and your friends have to admire the loot spread out across the living room floor.

"I want Daddy to take me," came the quick reply.

The Look.

The Look.

Claus shot me a look for leaving him high and dry - or sopping wet, as the weather called for. "No fair. That's like asking, 'Do you want a little bit of candy or a lot of candy?'" Oh, my husband. He is such a good man.

I've done this before. I wanted her to want to take a vacation in Australia so I showed her a picture of a kangaroo as a representation of the entire continent. That sealed that deal.

Yes, I'm guilty of leading this witness!


December 26th, 2014

(This is a continuation of a previous blog. Click here to read it.)

After my Santa debacle (and yes, another flaw in my logic was that I shouldn't have put the present out before the 25th) I redeemed myself.

The Santa gifts

The Santa gifts

We bought Olivia a scooter and a Frozen backpack with lights. I wrapped the gifts and used my LEFT hand to write the "From Santa" gift tag. I hid the boxes in my closet where she did not find them.

On Christmas morning, Olivia woke up before me. I panicked and when she was dressing, I ran like Usain Bolt to grab the Santa gifts and put them under the tree. Claus was already up and cooking breakfast (oh, yes, I married well) and laughed at me.


When Olivia came near the tree to unwrap her gifts, she immediately noticed the new boxes. Kids are so funny. She keeps her finger on the pulse of the gift pile.

I myself never would have noticed if there was a new present under the tree. To me, it all looks like a fairy threw up - one big lump of glitter and shine.

I could care less about what I'm getting for Christmas. That's because I'm old and I have a zillion other tasks, concerns, and worries taking up my headspace (IE, my great aunt was taken off life support on Christmas Eve.) Wow, being an adult is a whole lot of fun.

So back to the joy of Christmas for children. Olivia excitedly opened the two boxes Santa gave her. She was thrilled to get the gifts she asked for (two of the items listed on her THREE PAGE LIST.)

Then she questioned, "How did he know? I never mailed my list to Santa."

I looked at Claus. OMG I cannot win!

This is probably the best use of my newscasting ad lib skills ever, because I paused and then said (I hope smoothly), "I think Santa knows the minute you write it. He doesn't need you to mail it to him because his elves read it and reported back to him."

She absorbed that for a minute and then accepted that explanation. That was the longest minute I spent all day.

How many times in one Christmas season could I possibly nearly ruin the Santa myth? Would I need to keep tap dancing and coming up with stupid excuses to explain the holes in Santa's actions?

I think next year I need to make my own list and check it twice... on how to properly conduct the Santa gift delivery.

1) Actually mail the wish list to Santa

2) Write the gift tag with left hand

3) Do not put the present under tree until after midnight 12/24

A gift from Santa...or not

December 24th, 2014

Wow, I really messed this one up.

I wrapped a gift for Olivia from Santa and put it under the tree. She found the gift and looked at it skeptically.


"What? This isn't from Santa. This is from you," she stated.

"What?! No, it's not!" I lied poorly. Claus stopped what he was doing to watch this little drama.

"This is your handwriting," she pronounced.

Caught! But I went on with the lie. "It's not my handwriting. I think Mrs. Claus wrote this since it's a little girly."

"Mommy. I recognize your handwriting," Olivia insisted.


OMG, I thought I was pretty sneaky because I used my big bubble handwriting like I did when I was in the fifth grade. Now, my penmanship looks all scribbly like a doctor (or a rushed mother, or a reporter on deadline.)

I muttered some lame excuse about how I'm sure Santa had his wife write it and we went to the same school for penmanship. When she continued to look at me with disbelief I resorted to the old mommy default position of just barking a command to distract. "Hey. Just put that back under the tree and go eat ice cream."

Claus was rolling on the ground behind her, dying of silent laughter. He could barely contain himself. He practically exploded when she left the room.

The kid is seven. Really? Is innocence gone that fast? This kid is too smart.

And for me, lesson learned. Next year I will have to have the neighbor write the note!

... Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope your holiday is wonderful!