Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baby Mullet

They have many names. In my day, we called them SOTLIBs (short on top, long in back). In Kulani's area of the world in which he was raised, they called them spillbies. Thanks to, everyone now refers to them as mullets. For the record, I even hated mullets when they were considered cool. So why do I have a baby who is sportin' one? Two words: lazy and cheap. I'm not sure how you would even cut a baby's hair, and it seems silly to actually pay someone to do it. Currently, she is confused for a little boy everywhere we go. I need to do something. Bows don't stay in her hair because she pulls them out. I have put ponytails in the back that cutens (is that a word?) her up a bit. For now, I guess it's "long live the mullet!" Throw stones at me now, but I've even been getting a kick out of the king of all mullets: Billy Ray Cyrus. If you've watched at least a dozen episodes of Hannah Montana, you know what I'm talking about. Or maybe you've watched some episodes and you're still confused by my fondness for Mr. Achy Breaky. Maybe it's because I expected absolutely nothing from him, but I laugh out loud every time he says anything. He cracks me up on that show! Call me naive and sheltered, but I'd never heard the mullet described as "business in front, party in back" until watching HM. So Nohea, you're in good company.

But you've got something stuck between your teeth...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What we do when the cat's away

You don't want to know how much of a Homer Simpson I turn into when Kulani is away. I am a zombie. Here are some pictures of our activities:

The girls having a teddy bear picnic in the spare bedroom upstairs. It was rainy yesterday and today, so we had to entertain ourselves indoors.

Lilia mixing up some fruit salad, yummy, yummy.

Nohea sportin' the Racer's colors via a blue bowl full of oranges.

The real story: So since Kulani is gone, I am able to relax and read a good book. This one happens to be the newest Stephenie Meyer book, The Host. So I try to distract the girls, so I can selfishly read and forget about the mess that is my home. And since Kulani isn't around, why bother cleaning when I can read?! So I made a nice, huge, healthy bowl of watermelon, which the girls ate from all day. Then I made a quick lunch of ramen. And we ate dinner at the girls' favorite: McDonald's! Luckily I wasn't reading Fast Food Nation. I think I'll stay blissfully ignorant from reading that book.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pictures for Dad

Since Kulani has not seen the kids in 24 hours due to his heavy work load, I thought I would post some pictures of the kids for him. We miss you, Kat!

Nohea swinging at Ben's house in April.

Lissy swinging.

Lilia swinging.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Early mornings

This post is more for my kids when they get older and start complaining about work, and for my dad, Norvel the Magnificent.

Growing up, our family had a side business of cleaning local establishments. We cleaned a bank and a government building every weekday evening, with the exception of Friday nights; but then we also cleaned on Saturdays. Half of the time we did the cleaning in the evenings, but the other half of the time we did the cleaning in the early morning because we were busy doing other activities in the evening. It usually took us one to two hours depending on how many kids came and how fast we worked.

When we were very young, we were payed an allowance of $5 a week for contributing to the family. That grew to I think about $40 a month for me. It was a sliding payscale, with the oldest child getting the most (I was in the middle). By the time I was about 13, however, I never saw any money from my working efforts. It was the early 90s and the height of the recession. We needed the money to support the coffers required in having a large family. If we complained about not getting any money, my parents were masterful at helping us keep things in perspective: "You like to eat, don't you? You like your shoes, don't you? We're a family, we support one another." Being a part of the family cleaning business was probably the single-best lesson on life our parents taught us. My dad especially liked to use the hours cleaning together as forums for his wisdom. Common sermons my dad liked to infuse in us included:
  • Work builds character.
  • Life isn't fair.
  • Give yourself a goal and aim for it.
  • Go to college. You don't want to be doing this the rest of your life.
  • Think of others.
  • Don't complain.
  • Take it in stride.
  • Like river rocks, be smoothed by adversity.
  • Don't quit. Hoe to the end of the roe.

At the time, I didn't much appreciate it. But now I am grateful beyond words. At my job currently, we see people start and within a week they are complaining about minutia of the job. I honestly don't think I've complained about a job I've had since graduating from college. "You mean I don't have to get up at 5 a.m. and complete boring, manual labor?"

However, I did need to get up this morning to work. I like my work, so it really isn't that big of a deal. Maybe it is different when you are the parent helping to support a family and not the child. When Dad would get us up early in the morning to work, it was like scratching sandpaper acrossed a sun-burnt back. It was excruciating to be awoken so early to do work. I don't know if it's just getting older or what, but it doesn't seem so bad to me now. I don't mind waking up early to do work. Of course, I also have the luxury of taking a nap in the afternoon. Ah, the simple things. I'm contemplating now what evil-work device I can institute for my children. Perhaps we'll start with clearing the back yard of rocks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Nursery Musings

I think every Sunday I'll post funny things said or done at nursery by the kids. They all crack me up.
  • For some unknown reason, Julia ran head-on into a closed door. We think she may have been trying to catch a bubble during the bubble-blowing portion of nursery.

  • Brooklyn decided to dance to all the songs today during singing time. So we just turned it into dance time for everyone.

  • Bennett sang "HOORAY" for every verse of "If You're Happy and You Know It." It usually starts with clap hands, stomp feet, then shout "HOORAY." Bennett got right to the good part. Bennett also wanted to go potty like Kylie did, so he sat on the toilet with his pants and diaper still on, then he washed his hands. Way to go, Bennett!

  • Addie was the leader during follow the leader, but we were walking in a circle, and she kept getting frustrated that everyone was in front of her.

  • Someone made a spider out of claydough, so I asked the kids what sound do spiders make? Kylie and Bennett started a "roaring" contest, where one would try to out-roar the other one. Meanwhile, Sarah leans over to Kulani and whispers, "Spiders talk like this."

Monday, May 12, 2008


Kulani and I have been the nursery workers in our ward since January. It has been ... interesting. When we were first called, it almost crumbled us. Kulani is the youngest in his family and he is just not around little children very much. I think our first week he got after a girl for choking a little boy, and then the little girl started crying because Kulani spoke to her sternly. Then I made things worse for Kulani by giving him the stink eye. I think we had a spat after church every week for two months. Kulani always ended our spats with, "I'm just going to go to the bishop and tell him to release me," which he never did. But lately, Kulani has really been letting his little light shine. Last week the nursery song leader was out of town, so Kulani led the kids in music. We have this CD with nursery songs on it. Kulani says, "Let's have a good spiritual and sing, 'This Little Light of Mine.'" It's a great song that sounds straight out of New Orleans with a banjo and horns and everything. At the end of the song, I like to sing the high notes as if I'm Michael Scott on The Office when he sings "Happy Birthday." It always cracks us up, and the kids have no clue why we're laughing. This week, Kulani took the lead in watching all the kids. One girl just clung to him. Other kids wanted him to read them books. It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen and it made my heart melt. Kulani even commented that he was starting to enjoy nursery.

I am in awe of Kulani sometimes. It reminds me of when he first started learning to swim a few years ago. To say he looked like a duck out of water is to be putting it lightly. He saw me doing triathlons, and he just decided he'd do them too. Now he swims smoother and faster than me (not that I swim that fast, but you should've seen him in those early days). When Kulani did the half-Ironman in Hawaii, we thought he may have been hit by a car or something, because he came in much later than he planned. Turned out he got a flat tire and a penalty for throwing out a banana peel. But he didn't quit. As he told his dad later, "My parents didn't raise a quitter." And I'm grateful for that. Marriage isn't for quitters, and neither is nursery.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Television Randomness

As I work from home on my laptop, I have the fortune (misfortune?) of watching a lot of television. TV helps me stay awake when I work early in the morning, and the girls watch a good chunk of it during the day if I have any pressing deadlines, as I've had these past two weeks. I'd like to provide for you a few highlights from the programming I've been watching.

  • Dang that High School Musical! The songs are actually pretty catchy. I'm fond of the Ryan Evans character (Sharpe's brother). The best is watching the girls watch it. They dance to every song, even Nohea. Lilia's favorite part is at the very end when the drama teacher dances with the Wildcats mascot. For some reason, she thinks that's hilarious.
  • Kids' cartoons can be pretty witty and smart. The other day we were watching Arthur. Binky had a bad dream about being chased by a giant purple orange (try to find words that rhyme with purple or orange). He somehow wound up in jail with William Carlos William and a red wheelbarrow (google it if you don't know). He escapes from jail yelling, "Free Verse!"
  • I found myself laughing out loud to My Friends Tigger and Pooh this morning. Tigger had a nasty fall and Pooh asked him if he was all right. Tigger says, "I think so. How many fingers am I holding up" and then he holds up his paw. It took me a second to get how funny that was. The next time I bump my head and somebody asks me if I'm okay, I'm totally using that line.
  • I haven't been able to see The Simpsons movie yet, but we own it and the girls watch it while we're driving around in the BMW (big mormon wagon, er, mini-van). When you hear a movie rather than watch it, it can be much funnier, especially with regards to animated movies. A favorite line from that movie is when Marge and Lisa are jumping out of or onto something (I'm not sure what, since I've only heard the movie). Marge yells, "Geronimo" and Lisa yells, "Sacajawea!" Brother Bear and Happily N'Ever After are also funnier when listening rather than watching.
  • I generally like the teacher movies. You know the genre: a teacher inspires a bunch of misfit teenagers to be better, do better, and smell better. I recently watched Sidney Poitier's To Sir, With Love, with theme song by Lulu. Oh my goodness it was not the best teacher movie. Maybe it had more resonance in its time, but it was just creepy to me. A student of his falls for him, and he doesn't act on it, but during the final dance of the year, he dances with her. He was swinging some pretty smashing moves, baby: proof that white people can't dance, nor can black people whilst in London. For more proof, watch A Hard Day's Night. The English are just not dancers.