Archive for the ‘parent’ Category

Christmas gifts 2015

November 25th, 2015

Kids. Blabbermouths. My goodness.

Olivia planned the Christmas gift exchange with each parent separately. Then told us about it.

Last week, as we were walking, she confessed as we passed a massage clinic, "I told Daddy about his Christmas gift."

I stopped and looked at her. "What? Why?"

She looked sheepish and said she was excited. I know, and it's fine, but *eye roll*

Then, last night, they come home and I see a brown bag on the counter. I ignore it. As we're all sitting there for dinner, Olivia says to me, "We got you your Christmas present already."

I look at her and said, "So you guys went to the health food store today?" I'm now into Ayurveda as an outgrowth of my interest in yoga, and requested floral scented oils.

She looked at him. He stopped reading his iPad and looked at her and sighed, "You are impossible."

She giggled. We all laughed.

So THEN he pulls one oil out of the bag to show me because he wasn't sure if kukui massage oil qualified. I had to approve my own gift! "You guys are impossible," I said. More laughter.

I lean over to look into the rest of the bag and he pulls it away. Pulls it away! "Well, why leave it out for me to see then?" I question.

"You leave bags lying around," he retorted.

"You're not nosy like me," I defended. (Or insulted myself.)

Husband gives into me and pulls out the rest of the bottles. To be safe, he got an assortment of scents. Coconut, pikake.

He's so funny about covering all his bases. This reminds me of when I was pregnant and to head off any midnight grocery runs for weird cravings, he took a stab at it and bought a grocery cart's-worth of a random assortment of junk food for me.

"I bought everything I could get my hands on. I bought a case of everything snack related. I really didn't want to be driving to Foodland at 3 a.m.," he recalls. Most of it went uneaten.

I didn't have big cravings, but I ate everything in sight. I'd order two entrees at the restaurant. Oh, and there was a little stretch of time in which I actually found pickle juice delicious and would drink it right out of the bottle.

But I digress. Back to 2015.

"So that's it? That's Christmas? It's not even December? That's the big gift surprise?" I stuttered.

We faux-glared at the kid. She giggled. "I promise I won't ruin any more secrets."

"Yes," we said. "Because there aren't anymore to ruin."

The black cell phone case

November 23rd, 2015

My poor mom. The Alzheimers gets worse. She now doesn't remember my daughter Olivia's name. "Who is this pretty little girl? What's your name?" Popo asked Olivia upon first arriving.

We had a big family get together recently and my cousin and my dad have the same first name, Paul. Cousin Paul wanted a photo of my mother, me, and Olivia.

The three of us were standing there waiting for the photo and my mother kept getting distracted or confused. We kept saying, "Look there. Look at Paul."

Then I realized she was looking for my dad, who wasn't in the room at that moment. So I started pointing, "Look at that black phone. Look at that black thing." (She certainly has no idea what a cell phone is.)

"What?" she exclaimed at my manners. "That's not nice. He's our relative."

Huh? Then it dawned on me that she thought I was calling Paul a "black thing." I mean, he is deeply tanned, but no.

It's funny how the mind works with Alzheimers - what gets remembered and what doesn't. It's a grab bag.

So there's still room for humor in life, even in the sadness.

Christmas, I'm ready for you!

November 16th, 2015

Don't judge, but I put up the Christmas tree this weekend. It's just because I'm the self-appointed Minister of Emergency Situations at my house, and as such, I've averted an eleventh hour emergency by proactively erecting the holiday memorabilia now, while I have that rare drop of energy. Yay, me!


As soon as the Halloween stuff came down, I promised myself I'd replace it with Christmas, so here we are. We had a family moment on Sunday morning by assembling our new, fake tree and decorating it.

Now, I was never previously this punctual with Christmas, but having a child rearranged my priorities. One has to have their holiday stuff in order when small kids are involved. It's all for her.


This is a sign I'm getting old: it feels like just a few months ago we were doing this. Where did the time go??!!

I have to laugh because in years past, I really thought I'd be some environmental wonder and buy locally grown pine trees, or even use one I planted myself. Time and obligation wore me down.

Last year, the boxes of artificial trees sure looked appealing when compared to the energy of finding the time to drive out to Wahiawa, fighting with the tree holder to erect it at a straight angle, sweeping up fallen needles, watering it every other day, the making the time to take it down in January. Last year I think we even cut it up in pieces to fit into the green recycle bin, because we didn't want to drive it to wherever you can discard whole trees.

I just can't do that anymore. I enjoyed taking down the tree from the attic at my whim (it's so early, I don't even know that real trees are available yet) and setting it up my my schedule. I'm excited that it took ten minutes to piece together and will not require water and further fuss.

I hope this doesn't sound like bah humbug. Olivia doesn't seem to notice the difference. She has her big tree with lights and ornaments, and she'll be even more excited once the presents with her name start appearing underneath.

Here's wishing you some peace, calm, short lines, and easy parking stalls as we enter the Christmas season!

Kitchen catastrophes

November 9th, 2015

My poor kid. I know she's very smart and yet I don't always listen to her.

In my haste to get everything done I have sometimes almost fed her some messed up things: Hot dog tea and maple syrup juice.

Someone made her a hot dog. It could have been me or her dad, but at this point I forget. (Typical me.)

The water was sitting on the stove in the pot, and had gone cold. Background: every evening I prepare a saucepan of 40 oz. of water for my tea to take to work. I drink that during the show. Therefore, seeing a pot of water on the stove is common in our house.

Olivia asked me to make her hot water and honey for her store throat. I warmed the water and thought it smelled faintly odd, but I couldn't be sure because she had given me her cold and I couldn't smell.

I brought it over to her and asked her to check it. "Smells weird."

"Are you sure? Maybe it's because you've been eating menthol cough drops," I questioned.

Good thing her dad was home and emerged just then. "Claus, is this weird water?"

He smelled it. "This is hot dog water," he pronounced.

I don't know why I doubt my kid.

Second instance. We had breakfast out and she never can finish her waffles, so she requested a to-go box. The waiter brought it with a kid's plastic cup with a lid. I thought he kindly put her unfinished apple juice inside.

Later, she asked me for something to drink. "Here's your apple juice," I offered.

Once again, I was hurrying to get something or other accomplished and half focused.

"Mommy? This looks weird."

I peered inside the cup. It was dark, but maybe it was a shadow. "Just drink it. It'll be fine."

She sipped it. "Mommy. This is really thick."

*sigh* Can I have just one minute without interruptions?

"Let me see." I walk over and move the cup around to see what she is complaining about. She was right. It was very viscous.

Why would apple juice do that? Unless... oh... yeah... it's maple syrup.

"Oops. Sorry. I didn't realize the waiter gave us syrup, too. You were right."

So now I get a lot of heat around this kitchen when I serve people things that don't look quite right. I've lost my credibility for feeding people foods that are actually as advertised.

Secret spinach

November 6th, 2015

Living in a household with a young child means very little is sacred. At least, in my house. My kid thinks everything is fair game for her to eat - play with - take.

Drives me crazy. I've blogged about it before. I've given many scoldings.

Sometimes it's cute because she's at a phase where she wants to be just like me, and as inconvenient as it is to come out of the shower and find my bathrobe missing or already pre-dampened by a little eight year old who beat me to the bath, I'm charmed by this phase.

Sometimes, though, it's because she just can't help herself. We have sweets in the kitchen, and she has at it to her little heart's desire.

This summer we bought a box of Haagen-Dazs chocolate-dipped popsicles. From Coscto. That means it was a box of like, 50, or something.

No, seriously, it was a box of about 15, and Claus and I only had one each. Of that whole box.

It's not every day I want to have a vanilla and chocolate popsicle. They're terrific, but I am not always hankering for one.

In that sort of half-baked way of tired parents who work full-time and can barely manage daily life, her dad and I didn't register the fact that she was barreling her way through the carton until it was all gone.

1) Did we really just let her wolf down 5,000 fat calories in 2 weeks? 2) We kinda wanted to enjoy more than just one per adult. Hmm.


So at the grocery store this weekend, Claus and I saw a box of three Talenti popsicles. Sea-salt caramel ice cream covered with chocolate.

Not feeling like having the box raped before we could even get to it, we joked about hiding it in a container that would be utterly uninteresting for a child. If unhidden, you know kids find sweets like a heat-seeking missile finds... um... heat.

And then the moment came when we stopped laughing and realized we had hit upon a great idea. We walked across the frozen foods aisle from Ice Cream to Frozen Vegetables and picked up a spinach bag.


It worked like a charm. At the register, we hid the ice cream under the spinach, and when Olivia saw the bag, she actually exclaimed, "Eew, spinach. Who wants that?!"

Claus and I looked at each other conspiratorially and chuckled. "Oh, we love spinach."

We stashed the dessert behind the spinach successfully and enjoyed our rightful share of popsicles while she was out at a play date. Sure, we're saving her the third one.

After we eat the spinach (I'll put it in lasagna) I'm going to wash out the bag and save it for another camouflage mission. This is brilliant. Why didn't we think of it before?!?