Monday, March 31, 2014

Who's Got a Stapler?

Do you want to know a secret about Dallin B?
He's a chronic nurse goer.
He goes for headaches, scratches, falls, eye-sight issues, tummy irritations, etc etc.
I was SHOCKED when I found this out.
He's an easy-going, tough kid at home so I didn't think these excessive nurse trips fit the bill.
I'm also learned through trial and error- mostly just error- to not be so shocked and to most importantly not devalue his "incidents".
"What, mom. You think I shouldn't go to the nurse when I fall and break my knee? Fine, I'll just never walk again."
We're going to file this one under the category of Agree to Disagree. Actually, it's a silent agree to disagree. Because in reality, I've decided to just audibly agree with him. For relationship purposes, of course.

So when I saw the nurse's number pop up on my phone, I was probably shaking my head- with a smile!- before I even answered the phone. Because make no mistake that this is all pure comedy.
This time she was calling with the announcement that my son was in her office with a head injury. Something about the playground and tag and hit his head and lots of blood.
I listened and asked her what she thought needed to be done.
She said she wanted to get it cleaned up a bit more but she was pretty sure that he needed to be taken to a doctor.
And since I do trust the nurse, and we have been a few rounds together where honesty- real honesty- was spoken (our most recent conversation had been about a possible concussion….that I was pretty sure wasn't a concussion…), I knew this was a legit incident.
Now let me take this time to tell you that this would be my first time dealing with lots of blood and head injuries and possible stitches/staples as a mom. I mean, you know how you feel like there are milestones that make you a real mom? Well, I kind of felt like this was one of them.

When I got to the school, the nurse walked Dallin out. In true form, he was calm, cool, and collected. His head was cleaned. There was no dripping blood, no crying, essentially no drama. We walked out to the car, and I thought, "My gosh, if this is how head trauma and stitches scenarios go, I've got it in the bag!" I mean, easy peasy.

I dropped the other kids off at a friend's and went to deal with getting him sewn up. They concluded that staples was the way to go. The doctors put some monkey blood on the injury and put 6 staples in B man's head. He was good to go!

His reward was the biggest Otter Pop I've ever seen in my life. He handled the whole situation like a pro and was back on the basketball court the very net day…so much for taking it easy!

We all took him to get the staples taken out. These are the kind of family events we enjoy, ya know!

That Dallin B really is a good kid! Among his many petty trips to the nurse, he manages to squeeze a real headbanger in there every now and then!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Anniversary Trip to Costa Rica

10 years!
Of wedded bliss!
With no ups and downs!
Just love!

Just kidding but we decided to celebrate anyway despite the absense of perfection.
And with that we were off to Costa Rica.
The tickets were bought, the hotel reservations made, the nanny reserved, and the bags packed.
I went to sleep Sunday night dreaming of sun and poolside drinks.
I was awaken by my phone ringing in the middle of the night.
I stumbled out of bed to answer it, but not in time. 
Instead I received some message saying our flight was cancelled.
Still half asleep, I checked my email to see if I had a messge there.
I didn't see a cancellation notice but I did see a new flight reservation from Jet Blue.
Apparently Yosh and I were flying to Fort Lauderdale that afternoon?
I was definitely confused but my anxious nerves were easily settled when I looked at Florida's weather to see it would be a sunshiny 82 that week. Although the details were still a mystery to me, I was content. Sun in my life was the only requisite I had for the week.
Just then another phone rang. Probably Yosh's. Right about then, he started to stir. I answered the phone and it was confirmed that, yes, our flight had been cancelled due to ice in Dallas. Yosh asked for the phone and finished the arrangements he had been working on until 4 am. Turns out, he had received the call a little after midnight where it was announced that someone was trying to infringe on our 10 year anni celebration. But that's what I like abut Yosh- these things don't discourage him-- he finds a way. Where there's a will, there's a way, that what my Yoshie say. And there was a will.
So his time was spent confirming a different flight on a different airline that would get us to Fort Lauderdale with enough time- aka 3 hours- to jump in a taxi for the hour ride to Miami's airport where we would be able to take our original airline the rest of the way to Costa Rica, losing only 8 hours of our trip instead of 2 days.

Side note: isn't it always completely mind-blowing idea when the airlines suggest that they put you on the next available flight….2 days later? Look, I know there's logistics and such on their side but I'm not interested in them as the consumer. I want to go NOW. Like I paid for. Or at least within the same day.

So, anyway, the remedy required meticulous timing coupled with a healthy dose of luck. So you can imagine Yosh's pacing as our flight to Fort Lauderdale was delayed by 15 minutes. And then 30 minutes. And finally 45 minutes. We just didn't have a lot of time to spare to piece this messy puzzle together. When we landed in Fort Lauderdale, we grabbed our suitcases (carry-ons only!) and ran to the taxi hut to get on the road to Miami. We probably had our poor taxi driver on pins and needles as our intense eyes kept going from the spedometer to the road to the time maps on our phone to him. We needed A game driving skillz! We made it to the airport less than an hour before our international flight was to take off. We checked in outside, were overly polite to the sky cap boy (in the language of 20 bucks and no bags), and somehow found ourselves at the front of the security line. I don't know if it was the $20 or the fact that we were flying first class, but I also wasn't asking questions. We got through security and were at our gate as they were announcing  the final boarding call. Perfect timing! That is when the vacation really began.

We made it to Costa Rica and drove 2 hours in the complete dark and probably in crappy roads to arrive at our hotel. For two nights we were staying up in the mountains by Volcano Arenal. The next morning, we were greeted with a beautiful scene. Although our hopes of seeing the volcano erupt had been destroyed the night before when we learned the volcano hadn't been active for over 2 years.

We ate breakfast at the hotel (where I was reminded of my love of Gallo Pinto- the rice, beans, egg, and ketchup breakfast dish) before we headed to hike down to a waterfall. The waterfalla area was breath taking. 

We were wimpy and didn't get in the water.
After that, we stopped on the side of the road for a local lunch.
One of our goals while we were there was to eat a lot of local food at hole-in-the-wall places.
Proud to report we were successful at that.
We saw all these things filling the road and were at first ecstatic as we thought we'd be able to report back to Porter about all the monkies we saw. Turns out they were some type of raccoon and, therefore, not near as exotic!
We went to the Hanging Bridges National park with high hopes of experiencing the wild and seeing native jungle life.
Those hopes were dashed.
We saw nothing.
At all. 

The next morning we headed to the Four Seasons at Peninsula Papagayo.
Upon arrival, we wasted no time getting to our poolside loungers.
Quicker than you can say Por Favor, we had Coca Lights and Lobster Nachos at our little table.
We were already in full force beach mode.
And what better way to celebrate Yosh's birthday!
We finished the night eating at the hotel at some Brazilian place.
Is that a Happy Birthday or what?!! 

One day we golfed.
Yosh even let me drive the cart.
Infact, I think that's why I got invited!
That was first time golfing (does just driving the cart count as golfing?) and surprisingly it was fun!
I don't know if I'll even get invited back (I may have been somewhat distracting or annoying….) but it was fun while it lasted! Was fun to be with my baby while he did his golf thing! 

PS The course was gorgeous.
we saw a monkey.
Game over, our vacation was complete with this siting.

We then channeled the inner Peterson's in us and went exploring to a local beach.
I believe we ended up at Playa Cocoa.
But I think we only had lunch and then bailed as the beach wasn't anything to brag about.

We went to another beach and it passed the test,
but I can't seem to remember what it was called.
Yosh?? a little bit of help?

And there you have it! That was our vacation and I loved it!
I love reconnecting with Yosh and being reminded that we get along, that we have fun together, and that we are more than just co-parents to these four kids of ours!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Day Late but not a Dollar Short

Some of us do better with surprise and change than others. At Deeter's ripe age of 4, he's one of the latter. For example, Valentine's morning he awoke to a heart on his door. He came downstairs, heart in hand, looked at me with a scowl and said, "What is this, Mom?'
I explained to him that it was Valentine's day and that I had left him a little love note. He looked at me, still grasping the infamous heart and said- dead serious-, "Mom….don't you know I hate love?"
He was not okay with something not being on his radar, he was thrown off by this simple change in life.
It's good getting to know your kids and being able to pinpoint these idiosyncrasies- they help prepare you for future predicaments.
And future predicament came.
Deeter's preschool class was having a field trip to go and watch some little play.
I had told him about this previously. He responded with a few questions but not much other emotion.
Well, play day came and homeboy was off his game. This off behavior somehow landed him on the couch in from of Tom and Jerry all nice and cuddly instead of doing his normal morning routine.
Yes, I sometimes reward foul behavior with sympathy.
And not to mention, it was also playing into my ulterior motives.
I thought for surely, when he was deep into Looney Tune land that I'd be able to slip an outfit onto him.
The cartoon would come to an end and before he knew it, he would be dressed and ready for the day with lunch box in hand as we walked to the car.
And let's just say that's kind of-ish how the morning went.
End point being he was happy when I left him at school.

I went home and got ready for the day as I had an engagement at noon.
What kind of engagement, you might ask?
I was the mystery reader in Dallin's 3rd grade class.
The main mystery to me being What the heck was I going to read to a bunch of 3rd graders.
And you also want to know what I was wearing that day?
Fine, I will show you since I was showered, dressed, and admittedly feeling on my A game.

Hey, one day I'm going to want to know what I looked like at 33. Might as well take awkward opportunities to document.

So anyway, it's getting to be time to get going.
I'd settled on the decidedly socially suicidal book of Limu, the Blue Turtle- the same book I read to Dallin's preschool class years ago.
Go figure.
With the book in hand, I made the last minute decision to bring sis with me instead of leaving her at home with the house keeper as I was thinking ahead to a time pickle I might be in if I left her.
That same predicted time pickle had me driving to Deeter's school with my few spare minutes before I needed to be in Dallin's class.
Deeter was supposed to have a play date after school but we weren't even in the mental place to broach that subject before school so I figured I better go assess the situation and see if that was a go or not.
I found the kids on the playground and started talking to Deeter about going home with Isaac. This was just in time to hear him calling Isaac a stupid idiot, or some other equally demeaning name. I called him out on it and tried to redirect and get respect back on track.
But huh uh.
He was on one and not to be derailed.
Another game time decision was made in which I pulled Deeter from school right then and there.

And so there I was, walking into Dallin's class with one kid on my hip, one holding my hand, with my perfect preschool book neatly tucked in my purse.
Not optimal for my annual guest appearance in the son's classroom.

But you know, I put on a smile, I got the Deetz and Kai nice and settled by Dallin and got to chit-chatting with the classmates. We were talking about Hawaii and road trips and other things that brought a smile to all our faces. I killed sufficient time and made a good enough first impression to introduce my childish book without getting boo-ed off the stage. 
And I must admit that things were going well. Eyes were glued to the book, hands were being raised with supporting comments- the class was engaged. 
The book was building to it's climax as Limu has just found himself in the ocean with many pairs of beady eyes staring at him and was inevitably in quite the predicament.
I went to turn the page to satisfy our curiosity as to what exactly was going on and what in the world Limu would do to resolve the drama.

But speaking of predicament…
I was trying to get that page turned, but wasn't having much luck.
I interupted the flow of the story, looked down to get a visual on why the heck I was having such a hard time getting to the next page.
And instantly a memory hit me.
It was one of me walking into the Wal-Mart on Kauai a couple years ago because I was in need of a second copy of our favorite book: Limu, the Blue Turtle. Our first copy ended abruptly at the climax of the story due to an invasion of syrup, making the last 5 pages meld into one only, completely eliminating the crucial details of both the problem and solution. Hence the need for the second copy.

I must same, it was very untimely to be having this flashback now. When would have been better timing, you ask?
How about an hour ago.

Well, Ms Coffield is a whipper snapper of a teacher and not only quicklyread the panic in the eyes of her Mystery Reader but she also had a ready solution. All those sharp 3rd graders were asked to return to their seat where they would all draft an ending to this story!
They loved it and came up with solutions that were probably much more entertaining that the 4-year-old appropriate ending.
Win win.
Except for my pride.
But whatever.

And speaking of 4 year olds, after our reading duty was over, the crew and I headed down to The Caf with Dallin where Deeter would have his first ever elementary school lunch experience. And things don't get much cooler that than when you're 4.

So yes, things don't always work out as planned.
Or work out as not planned.
But more often than not, they work out.

And as a PS, I'll have you know that while I was doing Deeter's Valentines Day party a mere 3 hours after being chastised for leaving him a heart, that he prouldly bragged to his classmates that his mom had left him a heart asking him out on a date. And all the while he was wearing a coy smile. Go figure.

Which should have made it so that it came as no surprise when we were passing the venue of his class field trip Sunday and he announced, "Hey! That's where that play was…it was so FUN!" 
Hey, two weeks later he's come to terms with his field trip-- YAY!


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