Saturday, August 9, 2014

Happy Fourth Birthday, Evelyn June!


I don't think there could possibly be a better photograph, ever, to accurately describe our Little Red and all that she is. Messy sand stained curls wild around her face, goggles covering her baby blues, hands on her hips, pink pink pink and ruffles ruffles ruffles ruffles... and that sassy know it all do it my way smile spread widely across her face. This picture, is perfect.

Today Evelyn turns four years old. When I try to recall the past few years of our lives, I don't know how we got here. Do we ever know how we get here? One minute shes sitting in a pile of shoes behind the front door at our Indiana St home in Texas, getting ready to stomp herself out the door only to sit on the ground and eat chalk, and the next... we're here.

This little girl has more personality in one single strand of that red hair than anybody I've ever known. The loudest most contagious laugh that ever was. An imagination that her actions just can't keep up with.

My Little Pony and CareBears and dressup and all things girly. If theres not a girl or something soft and fluffy in the movie, she won't watch it. If its not the color pink, or a frilly dress, she won't wear it. I can't even count the amount of times that I've gone into her room to check on her in the night and found her laying on the ground surrounded by stuffed kitties, with a big princess dress pulled on over her pajamas.

She won't eat the crust. Its not even worth the battle half the time.

Shes invented her own language, talking with that dang binky in her mouth. And forget about trying to give her the blue binky if you can't find the pink one. Only the pink one will do.

She'll beg you for a cupcake (which I just so happen to have cooling atop the oven right now), but lick off all the frosting, and leave the actual cake in a blooming pile of crumbs across half the kitchen.

She gets into all the things. All of them. If you tell her she can't have something, she will find a way to get it. No sharpie? ... just you wait until she climbs the cabinets, finds it, and then draws Pinkie Pie all over the walls when you're not looking. Can't wear a dress today? about she sneaks into her closet during the one minute that you turn the corner to go to the bathroom, and puts on ten dresses.

Bottled water and juice boxes are not for drinking, they are clearly for dumping out inside of baskets, play kitchen sinks, car cup holders, and on baby sisters.

Speaking of baby sisters... they are not good for anything other than dressing up in clothes that are way too big for them, knocking them down, and stealing their food. Especially their cupcake frosting. But not the cupcake.

If someone is building something with blocks, dominos, duplos... BAM, down it goes. Because that's what Evelyn's do. Shes basically like a small, red headed, Godzilla. ...yes.


...Okay but really though. This little girl has taught me more about accepting others for who they are, and about patience, than... no theres not even anything to compare it to. Evelyn June: you have filled in a gap in my heart that I didn't know needed filling. You've caused a heap of headaches, hoarse voices, and sleepless nights, but- I will never forget riding beside you in the ambulance when your fever was above 105, rubbing your head and singing you lullibies- running to pick you up and rescue you from the waves when you nearly drowned in Waikiki, because you just had to have that seashell- or the look on your face every single time we've gone on hour long doll hunts for tiny baby, and then returned them to your tearful side. You make me absolutely crazy, child, but without all of the crazy... without all of the you... we would spend way too much yawning. You fill our lives with sunny sing song rainbows and adventure, among other things.

Life with Little Red.
Cave baby paintings. Poop Soup. And everything tra la la.

Lets see how many freckles pop up between four and five. Freckles for her. Worry wrinkles for me.

And next up: chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting.

Have I mentioned how much I love this picture?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Raising My Tribe of Five

Yesterday I was sitting on a bird poop splattered bench at park number four, feet swollen and stiff, lungs slightly out of breath, with sweat dripping down onto the back of my neck, tricking me into thinking it was a nagging fly. Or maybe it was a fly. Okay it probably was both. My phone was sitting face down beside me on silent, I don't even know why I felt the need to have it there with me at all. So I'm sitting there in all of my sweaty fly covered bird poop sitting on glory, just watching my kids prance around the play structure, bouncing back and forth between the giant plastic hippo and the ladder that Ruthie, my youngest, refused to stay off of, even though every single time she climbed up on it somebody would remove her- usually Eleanore, whos gotten really helpful over the last year. So while I'm watching them, I'm thinking "Wow. I'm their Mom. Those are my kids. This is my life"... in a good way. At first it was an annoyed way, because my legs were chaffed from all of the walking, and I was sick and tired of hearing complaints about who was hogging what slide or bouncy animal ride on toy thing, and... ya know, the small stuff that gets under our skin and makes us want to bury our face in a pillow and scream? But after I had five minutes of everyone leaving me alone (minus Ruthie and that dang ladder- it gives me a heart attack every single time, as I see her falling and banging her head on one of the bars, total slow motion style), I took a few sips of cold water from my purple hydro flask with the child chew marks all over the mouth piece, swatted at the sweaty neck fly a few hundred times, and then I had a change of perspective. I just suddenly saw everything differently.

When I became a Mom eight years ago, I had no idea what I was in for. And at first, it was easy. I probably didn't think so at the time, but, when I look back on it- it was just me, my husband, and our one baby living in an apartment, going through what another Mom once described to me as "family boot camp". A diaper change here, a bottle of pumped milk there... no big deal. What I had, I could handle. But if somebody would have asked me to babysit... I probably would have gone into a rare form of I actually have no idea what I'm doing shock. If someone would have thrown 4 kids at me right then and there... check mate. Absolutely, no, way.

All day yesterday, before the park, I had been picking up my phone off and on and checking my mobile facebook account, its something that I do when I'm feeling isolated, getting annoyed at just about every other post I read. Especially the posts in some of my Mama groups, where most of the gals posting are young ladies fresh to family boot camp, just like I once was. But what was I even annoyed about? ...The more I thought about it, it finally dawned at me, that I'm at a different place in my life. Dare I say it, but- I think I've finally graduated family boot camp. Not only have I graduated boot camp, but I think I might even be able to teach it!

I've spent the past eight years of my life, totally transforming. Personally and spiritually, I am a completely different woman. I went from being that scared Mama of one, practically locking herself up inside of her apartment with her baby, day in and day out, no friends, terrified of her new surroundings and the judgement that would come with leaving her plastic bubble, to.... a well evolved leader of five little ones, traveling across oceans and practically moving mountains, to make a difference in their lives.

...did you catch that last part? I said "five" little ones.


So here I am, thirty years old young, married to some guy I met at a taco bell drive through ten years ago (seriously, who would have thought all of this would have come from a crunchwrap?!), living on a tropical island in the middle of the pacific, raising my beautiful tribe of thick haired babies, mastering the messy art of motherhood, collecting plenty of freckles and battle scars along the way.

Less time in Mama groups on facebook. More time at the park catching Ruthie when she falls off of that dang ladder that she refuses to quit.

I made pancakes for breakfast this morning, by the way. Christopher is at work, he works long hours, and a lot of weekends. I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, no matter how hard I tried. Normally I would probably use my lack of sleep as an excuse to give the kids something simple like toast, but not this morning. This morning I made a great effort to keep a smile on my face, hug everyone, and flip some flapjacks of the Bobs Red Mill variety on the griddle (which is totally on the fritz), three by three, while the littlest one clung to my still swollen tree trunk legs, and the rest of the tribe watched old episodes of Tale Spin one room over. Simple times, simple joys.






There will never be a boring moment in my day. My heart and plate are full.

(...little five, another surprise gender, will be joining us this September.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

nonsensicle is totally a word- I won't bother spellchecking

There are times, when I can't believe that this is my life. Sometimes in the wondrous way- where I stand back and watch my kids play in the foreground of an artistic sunset, take deep breaths and submit to the scent of the salty ocean air around me, hearing fits of giggles and shouts of surreal song. And then sometimes its more like, in the way of total womanly breakdown- where I feel guilt for the things that I can't keep up with, or miss out on, or have done wrong with, in every which vague way that is physically and mentally possible. In the end it always evens out. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, a little bit of photography and nonsensicle words at 11:00 on a Sunday night. Or is it Monday morning yet?

I absorb emotions like a childs brain absorbs knowledge. If you're sad, I'm sad. If you're happy, I'm happy. If you're angry, then so am I. And I haven't quite figured out how to turn it off yet. An Empath... that's what they call people like me. Its totally a legit thing- we take on the emotions and feelings of others. And I'm not alone, theres a whole clan of us (like we're some kind of sub species, haha). ...but would I be too much of a downer if I said I sure feel alone most of the time?

Sometimes I become so disconnected from my reality, that I can't see anything beyond my 4 immediate walls. I have all of these wishes, and wants, and maybe's, but- I need a nudge. A direction. And sometimes its as simple as a trip to the beach, just 3 miles down the road, to clear my mind and reboot. But sometimes its much more complicated. I get so overwhelmed by everything that has been unknowingly drawn to me like a magnetic force, that I break the stare first, and climb back into my turtle shell. I go through my own sort of lunar phases. I separate myself from the force. I have to break empathetic contact.

And that's not always necessarily a bad thing. Because sometimes I discover some of the most amazing things about myself, and my loved ones, and what I truly believe in and care about when I take these personal (though not always intended) vacations. But... having to go it alone is exactly how the pony sang it in the 80s cartoon with the purple smooze- ...ok its actually nothing like that, those lyrics are ridiculous now that I look them up and put actual words to the tune (what is that movie even about, really?), but- when I hum the melody I feel slighty comforted haha.
I think this is mostly hormones, writing this for me tonight. Lonely hormones, released by my lavender linen spray, and kept floating in the air by the lack of circulation in my vintage Hawaiian Puuloa.

I have got to go to the beach tomorrow, life. I have got to find something with a very elastic waistband, use some very potent and hopefully nausea relieving essential oils, blow some larger than life size bubbles, and go in search of a much needed way out of my hermitville. Maybe its all of the recent change, or the absence of hearts that were once close, but this Mama needs some sweet tasting shave ice on my palette and the forbidden smell of Kona coffee filling my nostrils. I need a soul restoring adventure. I need a new.

PS. did anybody read my bubble post? I totally wrote one.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to make really really big bubbles, and find your whoosah

One of my most favorite things to do ever, is blow really big bubbles. This isn't something that I do just for my kids, though that's what everybody (everybody being the neighbors) assumes- I really just do it for myself. Blowing bubbles, makes me happy. Plain and simples. I am bubble obsessed.

Yes, my babes get an enchanted fairy tale slaying the dragon sort of joy each time they steal a stick from a tree and lunge at the big ferocious floating orb, but... honestly the kids are kind of over it. At least until other kids spot the action from down the street, and then, and usually only then, do my kids suddenly regain interest in an otherwise forgotten sport. And bubble popping is totally a sport.

Well, but no, not the baby- shes still wayyy into all things bubble related. Putting her hands into the soap, dipping the sticks into the bucket, tasting the foam that floats on top as a result of the continuous splashing and stirring- oh the foam is the best part! The bigger shes gotten, the harder its been for me to go out and actually enjoy making bubbles, because of the hands going into the soap, and dipping the sticks into the bucket, and rubbing bubbly knuckles into now burning eyes. I can't even form a single bubble before my curious 1 year old is picking up and putting the wrong end of the wands into the mixture and then pulling them out quickly and flinging solution all over me... and the cat, and the street, and herself, while simultaneously poking her sister in the eye and tangling her strings with mine. Lately its sort of a disaster.

But when its not a disaster, its a whole lotta awesome! Like- fairy godmother dancing on the sunset kind of awesome. Forget all of your worries and just breathe, awesome. Not a care in the world, favorite song playing in the background, when the air smells like your best childhood memory, awesome.

I can't even tell you how many times my husband has come home from work, and we've gotten immediately into the car and gone straight down to the beach, so I could roll up the waist on my skirt, sink my toes into the sand, and let the waves crash over my toes while I release bubble by bubble into the air, and kiss the sun goodnight. This is just something that I have to do.

At the beach. In the street. In the park. Bubbles are good for the soul.

I still remember the first time we experienced really really big bubbles. We were with our peaceful parenting group at the Moanalua Gardens here in Honolulu, a place that we meet regularly, and off in the distance between the trees, was a man moving so gracefully through the spaces, like the greens were his ballroom, and his marvelous handmade wands were his partner.

All of the kids were amazed.

I, was amazed.

He explained how it was therapeutic for him. How he worked long hard nights, and if he got off at the right time of morning, and the winds were right, how he would come to the gardens to blow bubbles to clear his mind. And just like that, it all made so much sense. And I thanked him for sharing his bubbles with all of us, and I walked away with a desire to do the same.

A few months before that, a good friend of mine, Heather, had made me a bubble wand that I had yet to use. I remembered where I had hung it on our lanai, so when I got home from the gardens that afternoon I went straight to it, and began my peaceful journey to a better me. ...does that sound lame? I'm okay with sounding lame.

Seriously, I had no idea how happy blowing big bubbles would make me. If you're not blowing giant life sized bubbles, you're missing out.

Once I got the hang of my wand, which didn't take long, I decided I needed to make a few of my own. This way I would have more than one, and I could experiment with different styles, but also- I really wanted to share with my friends, the way that Heather, and the man at the gardens had shared with me. And then I customized them with colorful tapes for the kids. Bubble wands galore!

I didn't use a tutorial to make mine, I asked my husband to figure it out and then show me (I have a hard time following written instructions- I'm a demonstration learner), but I went in search of a tutorial similar to the method we use, and this one was the closest thing I could find. We bought a whole lot of wooden dowels from Home Depot, as well as our eyelet hooks and washers (make sure your eyelets are big enough and your washer is heavy enough), and our rope we ended up purchasing at walmart, because we couldn't find an absorbent enough cotton kind anywhere else. The rope really does make a difference.

Okay but more important than having your bubble wand, and finding your whoosah, is- the bubble solution. I've tried several solutions you guys. Recipes calling for cornstarch (which end up turning to glue when left overnight). Recipes calling for baking powder (this is just wrong, don't do it). Recipes calling for glycerin (no). My tried and true recipe that I always always go to, shared with me by the talented bubble man in the park who started it all...

Really really big bubbles recipe
-1 quart miracle bubble mix
-2 cups blue dawn dish soap
-10 cups cold water
And you guys it is as easy as that. Depending on the winds and humidity, you might need to adjust how much of each you put in- for example: on extra windy days I add a little bit more blue dawn, and lessen the water. Things like that. with it, become familiar with it.

So while blowing big bubbles is an awesome thing for kids... its not just for them. Make a wand, buy a wand, get a wand... mix up some good bubble solution, get outside into the fresh air, and blow all of your worries away. Find your flow and free your mind.

Monday, October 28, 2013

And My Husband Wants to Know Why I Never Take a Shower.


This morning started out awesome. I woke up before the kids, I inhaled my peppermint essential oils and rubbed my blue potions all over my feet- I was on a lemon water high. The kid that hates cereal ate cereal for breakfast, the baby stayed happy in her high chair eating her organic puffy things, and nobody spilt milk. Nobody.

I gathered all 4 kids, and we walked down the street to the school. Everyone had clothes on, nobody was crying or fighting or yelling or arguing over who's "the baddest bad guy in the world"... it was almost like the heavens had opened up and shone a light down directly upon me and my morning. morning, yes. (And I am grateful for that)
But there was absolutely no mercy for my afternoon.

Around 12:45 or so, I realize that my daughter has early release today. Parent teacher conferences, right. I glance at the mess of train tracks and ponies and markers (that appeared out of nowhere) on the ground in front of me, and then next to the half naked children playing in the pile of it all, and then a quick head turn down the hall towards the sleeping baby.

Well this will be fun.

Rush to wake up the red faced hungry baby, step on like 4 pieces of broken train track that I'm almost positive have impaled my left foot, chase a defiant red head and trick her into wearing shoes (who cares that they're two sizes two big and don't match) so that she can push the nothing-but-a-nuisance shopping cart that she insists on pushing around everywhere like an old bag lady, and convince my 4 year old that his legs do work, and he can walk.

Halfway to the school, in the middle of a crosswalk no less, the shoe hoarding trouble maker decides to ditch the nagging shopping cart, run around in front of me, cut me off (causing me to trip over my railroad injured foot), and climb up into the stroller. But not climb up like- "oh look at me, I'm sitting pretty and all strapped in and tra la la", but, climb up like "haha, we're in the middle of the street with like 20 cars piling up, and I'm going to try to lay upside down on the very edge of the seat and make this whole thing tip over! Also.. go fetch my shopping cart".

I swear to God, child.

"I love them, I love them, I love them" I repeated almost mockingly to myself under my breath while keeping my calm, wiping sweat from my brow, and super-momming the shopping cart and the bad-baby into the stroller.

We make it to Elie's school. I park the stroller in our usual cozy spot in the shade across from the stairs that she'll soon be coming down, and while I'm focusing on catching my breath, I somehow miss Charlie and Evelyn sneaking over to the drinking fountain to fill up their shoes with water and start dumping "puddles" all over the concrete.

"Please stop pouring water into your shoes. That water is for drinking".

Aaaand of course theres no response, as I'm sitting (panting like a wild wolf, trying not to let my mono get the better of me) across from them, using my nice voice. ...ok fine, so maybe lets kick it up a notch.

"Stop pouring water in your shoes now. Bring your shoes here".

And oh how they're laughing and giggling and splashing about.

So by now, all of the parents in the immediate area are staring (but I mean, when are they not?), I'm starting to sweat even more because I'm at like an 8 on the irritation meter, and then the dang bugle sounds. We live on a military base, and instead of a bell, they have a bugle. And instead of kids just going in and out of class like normal kids... everybody has to stop what they're doing, face the flag, and stand at attention. No joke, this is a real thing.

So again, my kids are filling up their shoes with water from the drinking fountains- and then drinking the water out of boots and covering the concrete in "shoe rain". Do you think they're going to stop rain dancing long enough to stand still and face the flag like the other hundred people that I can count from where I'm sitting? No. No they're not. They're going to take this opportunity to let the rhythym overtake them and pour water on all of the real life statues on every side of them.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry" I tell everyone, as I scramble to get up (I thought I could get away with not playing by the bugle rules too- well that's what I get), and then I start lunging for the littlest one, who is ignoring my every command, running away from me, having the freakin' time of her life.

My good angel then surrenders to my bad angel, and nice-mama is no more.

"Evelyn I'm strapping you into the stroller, I've had enough".

Um... you'd think my adrenaline would be enough to power me through this, but, again- my mono is strong, and my muscles are weak. Second and third graders are flowing down the stairs at a steady pace, Charlie has decided to lay down in the middle of the walkway on top of his man made lake, making water hand prints on every square inch of available dry cement surrounding him, and Evelyn has somehow been possessed by a screeching, back arching, simultaneous arm and leg flailing, mini monster.

I'm doing everything I can at this point, to get her arms into those safety straps- but as soon as one arm gets in, the other arm gets out. I'm getting brutally beaten in the process, but after about 20 redos of the arm expedition, she learns that she can launch her entire body downwards, so that even though I finally got her arms both buckled, I can't get them secured into the crotch strap.

...This isn't happening.
Is this happening?
This is happening.


Please make it stop?

I have no idea what words are coming out of my mouth, if any. I have no idea where my water logged son has disappeared to (probably off in a corner covering his ears, because he can't stand loud noises). I have no idea where my 7 year old is. I have no idea who is or is not watching me. Survival mode, and go!

I do it. I did it. It happened. I got her strapped in. And in that moment, when the buckles finally snapped into place and I heard that beautiful "click" sound, I stood up, used my shirt to mop up the flood from my forehead (seriously, I am so gross), and I looked around expecting to hear a round of applause.

No. No you guys. There was no round of applause. There was not even so much as an invisible pat on the back taking place through eye contact from a sympathetic mom. ...nothing. It had taken me so long to get Evelyn strapped in, and the rest of the parents were apparently in such a big hurry to get their kids out of firing range, that I was completely deserted.

Come on, people.

Well whatever, I'm still pretty stoked that I won the epic battle at the drinking fountain, even if I did get pretty damaged in process, so I stand there leaning against the wall for a minute catching my breath (and continuing to wipe away my sweat), and then I announce over the still screaming child, that its time to go.

Well no. Charlie doesn't want to. Its too hot, and hes too upset from hearing his sister's shouting, so hes refusing to walk home. And when I say refusing, hes like... face first on the ground, sobbing into the dirt.

And have I mentioned how absolutely calm I am, during all of this? Oh yeah, I'm like Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember- totally dying, but doing it in an annoyingly cute way. Only, with more sweat.

Hey did I mention that I couldn't stop sweating?

And sweat.

So I get Ruthie out of her seat, swing all 25 pounds of her onto my hip, sing out the good news to Charlie, who is stoked for his free ride, take a deep breath of "yes, this is happening, you're doing this", and begin the dangerous journey home.

Charlie weighs about 50 pounds. Evelyn about 40. That stupid shopping cart is not only hanging down from the handlebar in my way, constantly knocking into my knee, but it also weighs a good amount of awful plastic I-hate-this-toy weight. And the stroller itself is sort of a beast, so... alright, now is when I start losing it.

Eleanore was there too, by the way. Walking silently and observantly next to me. I would have asked her to at least give me a hand and push the bulky plastic cart, but last time I did that, she made it less than a block before giving up. And really, to get it down and argue with her and listen to her whining would have just been too much work for me. So I powered through, folks. I rocked on. I pushed those kids THE ENTIRE WAY HOME... all caps totally necessary. It wasn't until the end of my street that a friend stepped in and gave me a two minute breather.

Evelyn took a nap the second we got home.


How'd the rest of the afternoon go? Oh, well my oldest did everything she purposely could to make her little brother cry (if I hear "fine, then you're not in my club" one more time- I'm deleting all clubs from the world, everywhere), I got bit by like 10 mosquitos (because nobody knows how to close the back door, ever), when I took the kids outside to play none of them actually went and played (because they were too busy fighting over who got to put on a dance show for me, or fighting over the one toy that the baby had, or fighting over who made it to the end of the sidewalk first, or... please just go play!), and then of course when its time to go back inside, nope, now they want to stay outside and play. Are. You. Kidding. Me? Put down the chalk that you've covered yourself from head to toe in, and come inside so that I can make dinner. Your dad is going to be home soon, and I don't know about you, but I'm hungry.

It takes me forever to get them inside. And they're all so filthy- dirt and chalk and pieces of sticks and flowers in their hair. And I'm pretty sure there were a few tree beetles living in Evelyn's curls? And now that I look around- my house is pretty disgusting too. ...time to freak out.

Into the bathroom, everyone! We're taking baths, right, now.

Oh, but the baby can walk now, so shes not taking a bath- shes playing in the toilet, and eating garbage. Why! No! Stop! ...I know you hate it, and I hate it, but- into the pack n play you go.

While the baby is gob gob'ing in the living room, I bathe the other 3 one at a time in the bathroom, quick as I can. But of course I get water in someones ear, and somebody else somehow snorts a gallon of soapy water through their nose while trying to hide from my washing their faces, and- why did you just step out of the tub behind me onto the bare floor, instead of onto the bathmat?? Now I'm soaked, the floor is soaked, and... can I trust you to run around the house naked without peeing on anything? Really? Can I?

So I dry off babies and send them on their way to pick up their rooms in exchange for me making them dinner. Obviously I'm going to make them dinner either way, but... they're falling for it. Kind of.

Oh wait, and before I forget- earlier when we got home from school, Eleanore announces loudly to me that "Santa Claus isn't real. Its you who hides all of the presents!". ...the icing on my crap day cake, my friends.

So now I can get Ruthie out of her baby prison, poor thing, but before I can make dinner, I realize I need to sit down and give her some one on one time- also, nourish her. MMM, organic strawberry banana pouch food. Shes gobbling it up. The other kids are running around the house naked, screaming and being totally crazy, not cleaning their rooms, when- you know how on movies, when someone pounds their fist down onto a bottle of ketchup or something, and it splatters all over someone else, and its totally funny and hilarious and hahahaha? ...that. Ruthie is fighting me to hold the pouch, and I'm going along with it, so long as she lets me help, but then she takes it, throws it down on the tray, and smashes it, all, over, me.


Its on my face. Its dripping down into my cleavage. On my shirt. On my skirt. In my hair.

And shes staring at me, wanting more food.

So you know what I do? Yep... I'm scooping it up off of my face, and feeding it to her off of my finger. I'm not letting this fruit pouch go to waste, heck no.

And then from down the hall, I hear a chorus of "Evelyn peed on the floor!!!".

...of, course, she, did.

I don't even know how I made the kids dinner. I know I did, because I remember burning my hand on a bowl that came out of the microwave, and I remember being mad at myself for even using the microwave in the first place, but- the moment my husband got home, I told him I was taking my computer and my cell phone and my everything into the bedroom, and made it very clear that I did not want to be bothered.

Unless its to bring me Xanax.
Which he did.

So here I sit. A sticky, sweaty, stinky, stressed out mess. I can smell myself, and not the pretty patchouli part, but the #ThatTotallyJustHappened part. And while I know that I really need a shower- oh my gosh you guys, so, so bad- what I really needed more, was time to sit down and contaminate my writing space with my word therapy.

Today attacked me.
But I fought back.

Untitled this, my dear husband, is why I never get a shower.
Because I'm too busy spilling my anxiety through taps on the keyboard and enjoying the feeling of the mattress supporting my weight rather than my feet.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Wore A Dress Today

Something weird happened today. I mean, weird things happen every day, to me at least, but- this was different.

Do you ever wonder what people think of you? Like maybe you're sitting around on the couch covered in a heaping pile of miscellaneous blankets and empty pudding bowls, watching The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, and then blurt out loud to your husband/friend/cat/alter ego... "What kind of an impression do I leave?".

But really.

What do people think of me?


What do the moms at my daughters school down the street call me? None of them know my name. Am I the lady with dirty dreadlocks? The lady who doesn't own a single pair of jeans and only wears skirts? The lady who sweats buckets every time she herds her four naked children down the street? ...or does anybody even see me?

A lot of the time in the real world, I feel completely invisible. Though I don't know how that's possible- I'm loud (always trafficking children and singing my every action), I leave an earthy glittery cloud of patchouli behind me, and I look like a patchwork swirl of rainbow from 5 miles away.

Anyways, I'll get to the point...

I woke up feeling half dead this morning. I still have mono. Week 9, I think? Or week 10? I can't even remember at this point, it feels like I've been sick forever (because I have), but- I drank 3 quarts of water, drowned my body in a mixture of every doTERRA product that ever was, ate something more than dark chocolate, and forced myself out of my way too comfortable bed to take my kids out to the Waldorfaire down in Honolulu like I had previously promised.

After the kids dug around in a giant sand pit filled with buried treasure stones, and went fishing for colorful magnetic trout, they moved onto whimsical sword and wand making (which cost like 19 scripts, might I add), and as I'm carrying my 25 lb bonnet wearing pink cheeked 11 month old on ye ol' hippie hip, a long haired organic looking grandma and her twin like daughter ring out, "Oh my gosh, how CUTE!". ...They're talking about Ruthie, you know, as is every other person that walks beside or behind us. Two people even stopped to take her picture today.

Enter weird thing here: so then the grandma with waist length beautiful grey silky hair says, "I don't know whos cuter, the baby, or the Mama".

I giggled my polite little thank you of a giggle, and then... wait, did a total stranger just give me a compliment? Because.. ? I'm so confused.

Yes. That totally just happened (#) ... I'm not invisible!

I wore a dress today. And my favorite turquoise spiral plugs that my husband got me for Christmas last year. And a pretty yellow floral scarf in my hair, kinda pirate style I guess. I don't wear makeup, so there was none of that nonsense- in fact, my forehead was covered in beadlets of sweat that I had to wipe off (with the tail end of my head scarf) approximately every 2 minutes because of how overheated and exhausted this adventure had left me. But what I'm saying is, I actually tried today. I wanted to look pretty. I sure didn't feel pretty, I felt like a walking parasite, but I wanted to at least put a little bit of effort into looking like a woman.

And that lady noticed.

And even if shes the only one that noticed. The only person on the entire planet who could see me.

I was seen.

Now... where are my yoga pants and pudding?


Monday, September 30, 2013

Says the Honu

I woke up yesterday in a bum mood. It doesn't matter why (though I'm probably going to tell you anyways), but I just felt like crap. It wasn't just the mono, or the fact that I had hurt feelings over a stupid facebook status or five (facebook anxiety is a real thing, I totally didn't just make that up), I just felt... hollow. I was slumping around like some kind of half monkey ancestral human cavewoman person thing, mumbling under my shortness of breath, and even pouting (even with a giant mug of my favorite fiery chai cupped in my hands- who pouts when they have chai?!) like a woman-child as I lay on the couch watching everything other than New Girl, because like I complained about in my last post, my nightly dates with my soul sister Jess have come to an end.

If you haven't started watching New Girl on Netflix yet, just go do it already.

In the midst of my one person Sunday morning pity party, I thought back to two weeks ago when I had driven myself down to the marina, in a rush of husband fueled fury (sweatin' the small stuff, ya know), and witnessed two enchanting spotted eagle rays dance across the breaking waves beneath the sunset. It was so magical (there is a video on my instagram feed, and I think you need to see it first hand if I haven't already shoved it in front of your face) that it snapped me out of my funk and opened my eyes, and lets go ahead and get mushy here, my heart, to so many things that I had been nonchalantly ignoring.

So yesterday as soon as we finished our lunch, I said matter of factly ..."I need to see something awesome. Like sunshine, or giant turtles, or... anything. Lets go somewhere".

My husband is home for a few days on personal leave so that I can rest, so naturally he argued (as he should have- I'm way too sick to be leaving the house). But I'll be honest- I tricked him into going along with my evil plan by telling him we would just go for a drive. And then I threw in a "maybe the kids can stop for shaved ice", and then this, and then that, and then- well the next thing I know we're all dressed in swimsuits packing towels and sunblock for a day at the beach. What can I say? Mono is making me crazy.

And then amazing things happened.


After stopping at the Old Sugar Mill, the absolute best place on the island for natural shaved ice (and black sea salt, which I am way too excited about) we followed a friend down some back roads to a never been to before beach. The sun was gentle, the waves were light, and man it felt so good to just relax and take in all of the beauty unfolding before my eyes. I still have such a hard time believing that this is truly my life.

Um, I live in Hawaii.

This is now.


Dot com, even.



Palm trees. And blue skies. Happy kids, happy husband, happy me. Total paradise.

And then the coolest thing. No this is seriously the best.

Hono Hono

Oh hey whats up, I'm just a big giant real life Honu (that's Hawaiian for Sea Turtle- but for some reason I call them Hono's, because I like to make up my own language?) chillin' on the beach- feel free to get all up in my face like a total tourist with your giant waterproof cased in iphone, since you don't use your fancy big girl camera anymore. But uh, do you mind my asking why you are so out of breath? And raining sweat? Lady maybe you and your gross kissing disease better just back off, now that I think about it. But your kids are cool, so they can play around me. Until they start throwing sand at me. In which case, then I will eat them. Don't let them touch me. Seriously, if they touch me- I don't typically eat people, but your red head is being particularly obnoxious with the sand throwing that I asked you not to do, so as far as I'm concerned, dinner is served.

He said that.





I'm going to speak some of my ugly truth now, k? I'm not going to listen to the little voice in my head that's saying "no Tia the Tia, don't post how you're actually feeling, because then people will know how bat crap crazy you are- talk more about the sunshine!!", and I'm going to type whats really going on.

That day that the eagle rays so gracefully drifted to me- I was suicidal. I was sitting on a log out in the middle of a deserted seashore, staring out in the water for hours. I kept thinking about what would happen if I could just, jump. If I could stand up, pick up the slack of my skirt, let my dreads down, and just let it all go. And in that moment, with tears streaming down my face, I literally looked up to the open sky and begged the Universe for a sign. I was at the end of my rope, which I know we all say maybe more often than we truly mean, but- in that moment I felt so much despair from my lupus, from my mono, from my isolation and exhaustion, that I just wanted a release. And then there in the water, were the rays.

Thank you, God.

Thank you, Mother Nature.

Thank you, Life. World. Existence. Eternity.

Thank you, Grams.

So that's why yesterday when I was feeling so down, and I felt that pull to get up and get out- I listened. And it led me straight to what my soul needed in that very moment.

After we played with the Honu for half an hour or more, we decided to leave him alone to bathe in the sun. He had gifted us with his presence for long enough, we didn't want to overstay our welcome. A couple hundred backtracked sandy feet or so, we layed down our towels and together my husband and I sat, just basking in the glory of the then. Listening to the sounds of the ocean, gushing over how absolutely breathtaking the sea turtle had been, watching ghost crabs pop in and out of their hideaways, saying how warm the sun felt on our freckled skin, and then- two more turtles. Swimming directly in the waters in front of us, were two brilliant peek a boo turtles. Every time they'd pop their heads above the water we'd all shout with touchdown-like excitement. The 3 other people on the beach were either really amused, or really annoyed. Either or, same thing, whatever the whatever.





With a freshly cleared mind, a warm sunkissed cheek, and a translucent sense of good renewal, it was time to say goodbye to our perfect day. And it really was, a perfect day. There is no better way to describe it. From the way that our toes touched the sand as we walked from one end of the beach to the other, to the way that my springy red head (who luckily, did not get eaten by the talking Honu) giggled hysterically at the delicious stream of water at the sand shower- it was just a happy day.

And just when we thought it couldn't get any better...


The biggest, most vibrant, most... oh my gosh are you kidding me is this really happening, rainbow of all time appeared in the sky. It can't even fit in the picture (again, head over to my instagram and you can see a video of its full effect, complete with awesome narration by my husband), its so big. And then, it turned into a double rainbow. No shame in stopping on the side of the road to gawk at it, either. There I was, standing barefoot (I got a splinter in my heel, phooey), basically in my underwear on the side of the road, holding my phone up in the air like the intense spectator that I am. But it was just so, freakin', gorgeous. The best part... is that it followed us the entire way home. A solid hour of super-rainbow.
How is a day like that even possible?

...and then it hits me.

It would have been my Gramdma's 79th birthday. She celebrated her birthday, by letting me and my babies celebrate life. Celebrating in her favorite place, no less.

She was there on the beach with us. She probably bribed/lured that sarcastic red head eating Honu there onto the beach with her homemade cheesecake.

Happy Birthday, Grams. Thank you for one of the best days of my life. Thank you for guiding me. Thank you for saving me.


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