he's really part fish

moving to Hawaii, swimming has taken on a whole new meaning us. if you live on an island and don't know how to swim, I would think you had better learn!!

when we first got here, Samuel was very timid. he'd go in but never past where he can't touch, unless his arms were wrapped around your neck. he wouldn't put his head underwater. he was fearful of the waves crashing, and wouldn't go past them. he has been exposed to water every summer of his life; I even took him for "swimming lessons" at 6mos to get him comfortable, but he still needed more time.

he did get some courage when he wore his life jacket. he liked that he could go to the deep end just float, in the pool and in the ocean. not being so worried about sinking, he did figure out that using his arms and legs helped him move around. with that, he gained even more courage.

then one day, we said no more life jacket. yes the waves will knock you down. yes you will go under.

we are firm believers in learning things "the hard way," or in my opinion, the most real-life way. and can I add, I very much dislike parents that soften every single obstacle for their child(ren). I understand wanting your child to stay inside a bubble so they won't get hurt ... but that's not life. their bubble will burst at some point. I think its much more valuable to teach them how to get up after they fall, not just keep them from falling. but I digress ...

when the life jacket left, we added a mask. at first he'd just put his face in the water so he could see, but then practically overnight, it was his whole head, then his whole body. he was diving to the bottom in no time. gaining vision gave him all the confidence in the world, however, not having that life jacket anymore also gave him a healthy dose of fear of what water can do.

now at the pool, he's doing cannonballs at the deep end. at the ocean, he's learned the pattern of the waves and goes in with perfect timing ... or if he's too excited, he'll jump right into the wave. its so awesome to watch him!

but just when I thought all I had to worry about is drowning, I now also have to worry about him drinking the water.
2 weeks ago (a day before his birthday) Sam was throwing up every 1/2 hr or so. couldn't keep anything down. Eli had it too a few days earlier, then I got it a few days later, so we all assumed it was the flu. but yesterday was another pukey day for Sam; fever, no appetite and throwing up anyway, long naps, chills, sweats ... not fun for anyone. so far, the rest of us are ok.
the only thing we can think of that links all this puking together is swimming at the pool. I've been doing some research and found multiple sites with this same information. something to note: chlorine doesn't kill everything!

just the thought of ingesting someone else's poop is enough to make me not want to ever go back to a swimming pool ... guess its a good thing we're in Hawaii and have plenty of beaches to choose from.

if you have any other ideas, let me know.

ps. Morgan, is this what makes a saltwater pool better?

designing woman

years before my world became my kids, I was attending school for interior design. did you know that about me? I was hooked on HGTV and let that become my inspiration.

so I made it through the 1st year, which was a basic over view of everything to come. its the requirement to become a licensed designer; one must be certified from an accredited institution. I attended the Interior Designer's Institute in Newport Beach. simply put, those people know what they're doing!
the next 2 years are for your BA degree. like with any degree, there is a class for each individual aspect of design; lighting, perspective, model building, space planning, etc. once you have this degree, you can go on and take the "bar exam" for designers, then you are recognized by the National Council (NCIDQ I think) and get those little initials after your name.

I made it 1/2 way through the degree program and quit. yes, I'm a quitter. I realized that I don't have the natural talent, the gift that these other students have. I am not an artist on paper. I was doing my very best and was only pulling C's. I was majorly disappointing myself.
the stuff I wanted to do, was not emphasized. I wanted to get into set design; retail store fronts, magazines, tv/movies, model homes, whatever. you still need all those elements for set design, but class was taught for the majority, which was not me.
I never wanted to work with people that had so much money to hire me to go shopping for them. I know there are other aspects, but that's what I felt it all boiled down to. I was beginning to see it as pretty superficial ... and I never want to surround myself with that.

so anyway, fast forward to today ... I have been needing an outlet. I have not had something just for me in what seems like FOREVER. my hubby believes my grass to be greener, which has been an area of contention. he doesn't seem to understand that I too need to talk to other adults ... and not about poopy diapers and bedtime battles.
I started out looking for a place to volunteer, but then I found a class for home stagers. having 2 kids with 1 being homeschooled, no money for daycare full or part time, no one close enough to babysit, and having only 1 day/week available, this class actually works. it was too good to be true ... but I now remember, God will do such things as this. down to the detail.

home staging is similar to model home design. its based out of the real estate side of it; I will be designing to emphasize the homes features, rather than, an interior designer designs according to what the client/home owner wants and needs. home stagers can be hired by the home owner or the real estate agent. statistics show a staged home sells MUCH faster than an un-staged home. people need to see how it can be lived in with stuff, and more importantly, see themselves as a fit in that home. so, its right up my alley.

this class is run by the owner of Paradise Home Staging, based here on Oahu. when we finish this certification process, he will offer a position with his company. he is essentially training his staff with it; nice to know there is a job waiting ... even if it is still one day/week.
he works with middle-class all the way up to $5 million homes. next week we will be taking a field trip to some open houses in Kahala, which is where you find the high-end homes of the island. have you ever toured a $5 million home? it's fun.

so far so good. wish me luck.

I am not a rabbit

usually one of the awesome things of traveling is the food ... if you have brave tastebuds that is.
I lean more to the whimpy side of bravery ...

although Hawaii is a part of the USA, its pretty different than anywhere I've lived. out of all my moving (and you know I've done my fair share of that) its the only place we've gone that has another culture attached. for the most part, its good, but I wanted to talk about the food for a sec ...

locals here are either VERY tone and gorgeous from being daily beach bums, or they are VERY ... not. there are not many in between-ers here.
I want to be one of the tone ones ... but I digress.

you would think Hawaiians would eat tons of fruit and fish. some do, but it seems more eat McD's and other fast food ... seriously, the McD's in our neighborhood almost always (and this in no exaggeration) will have a line of cars in the drive-thru coming out of the parking lot, literally blocking a lane of traffic into the road. we were told by the manager (yes, we were there once ... ok its been a few times) that this particular McD's is the busiest one on the entire island. crazy. every time I see it, I want to take a picture. I don't think I've seen anything like it before.

there are also tons of rv-converted-retaurants along the side of every road ... are they still called "roach-coaches?" this food is good if you would like an instant heartattack ... if you can imagine, more instant than a Big Mac. EVERYTHING is covered and smothered in fat and salt (as in, you can plainly see it) and always comes with more white rice than you know what to do with.

now I don't claim to eat right, or even healthy on some days. I am no nutritionist. I think I'm just venting ... yet amazed ... and disgusted ... its like that car accident that you have to slow down and look at no matter what has happened. wow ... and ew.

my theory ...
I have figured out why most people here are overweight. yes there are tons of things to do outside here, but just like summer anywhere, who wants to cook when its already hot outside?! not to mention, many of these apts/condos/house do not have air conditioning and rely on breezes alone ... sometimes that breeze just isn't there, and sometimes your fan just isn't enough ... who wants to cook in that? plus the humidity here ... sigh.
using the oven is the worst. who wants anything from a crock pot? I certainly don't crave chili or soup anymore. is it me, or isn't dinner usually a hot meal?

ok. so. I am in need of non-hot meals. help me. please.
but I insist, rule #1 I will not be eating salad every night.

and thank you.

advertise something else please!!

Attention readers ... just an fyi
I DO NOT endorse the advertisments on my page.

does this need to be said?

those of you who know me, [hopefully] know that I do not, would not, and will not watch Skins on MTV. no. I was never much of a MTV follower even when it was cool. but I have to say, today it is so. not. cool. total trash. sorry to you who feel otherwise. I feel stupider (is that a word? or is it more stupid? see that? I don't know. how 'bout dumber?) and dirty, like I need a shower for watching. as far as I'm concerned, nothing good comes from MTV, not even the music anymore.
is this my old age talking? could I be an old fuddy-duddy now? maybe ... but that's not the point.

the other ad I saw was for HP. now first let me say, I'm no tech-y. I am only partial to Apple because I've had waaaaaaaaay fewer issues with it than any desktop/pc I've had. but I'm simple, I just want to turn it on and have it work ... is that so much to ask?!
my hubby's grandfather is one of the original staff members of HP from back when it started. He knew Hewlett & Packard; I can't remember his title now, but they all worked together at whatever executive level it was. anyway, my point is, even grandpa has an apple ... 2 in fact.
bye bye HP. you are not welcome in my home.

have you seen these ads?
chances are the ads will change to make me look crazy, I'm sure.

I thought Adsense was suppose to post things that have something to do with this blog ... to pull out the good & interesting things I write about and advertise that stuff. if you're interested in the nonsense I write, than you might actually click on the ad to find out the real facts. ha! but right?!
and if you do click, somehow I earn 1/2 a cent ... but it all adds up, so click away. I think I promised I wouldn't click, but does that mean I can't recruit you? that might be cheating, I'm not sure. maybe after this I'll get an email to tell me how I've violated the terms ... blah, blah, blah ... and then I will laugh. :)

so here's my plan ... I will now type random things Adsense can advertise about it. in theory it should work, right?

shoes, Hawaii, beaches, travel, coffee, school, design/decor, library/books, food, kids, parenting, Jesus, crafts, farming, hiking, camping, donations/charity, health & exercise, weather/rainbows, movies, music ...
start there and let me know when you need more ideas. thanks Adsense.

Sam I am

as of October 13th, my oldest is 6.
whoa. 6.
cliche time ... where did the time go?! seriously.

having that first baby is sooooo exciting. the horror stories will and do freak you out a bit, but ultimately, excitement takes over.
usually all the unexpected stuff is enough to drive you insane, but in this case, it isn't too scary since you know you will have an adorable, tiny, heaven-smelling, perfect, piece of love in your arms. its blissful.

so fast forward 6 years and now I have a very talkative, proud bubble maker (that's farting in our house!), athletic, and silly little boy. he's a 1st grade smarty-pants and a new cub scout. I'm awfully proud.

he's still perfect.
although, I do miss nap time.

I have always been so thankful that he in whole in every way. God did give me a perfect piece of love ... one that I do still try to hold in my arms, but those moments aren't quite as much as the earlier years. he's still a mama's boy, but he really LOVES to wrestle with daddy, get tickled, and run crazy ... and now that Elliott is here, the 3 of them go crazy together.

to mothers of boys ... a piece of advice -
I taught both boys from the beginning to jump on daddy, not mommy. I strongly suggest you do the same! these boys eat constantly and are growing like weeds, so I know they will be bigger than me in no time ... honestly, they hurt me already! so instead, I opt to watch, laugh my head off, and [hopefully] get some good pictures from those play sessions. :)

Dearest Samuel,
You are loved more than you could possibly know.
Happy 6th Birthday.
xo, Mama

recess comes first

2 in 1 day. wowsers.

its been a tad difficult to begin homeschool. first off, I started it late. oops.
I didn't feel bad at first because Hawaii begins soooooo early. but now that I've started, I've realize that a goal within homeschooling is to finish when the kids attending an actual school finish.
duh, right? so we're doing 2 lessons in 1 day. it still doesn't take too long, and luckily, the first part of any grade is the review time of the previous grade. Samuel is simply kickin' its butt! he's awesome. and if we can keep at 2 lessons per day, then in theory, we'll finish early. right? in theory, anyway.

secondly, homeschool is just plain frustrating to start. once you get through the process of choosing a curriculum (which is a HUGE chore within itself) comes the time to actually doing it. I am using Abeka's 1st grade curriculum, and they have the lessons all planned out day by day. I'm not so much a go-with-the-flow type person with this type of stuff, but now that we are finding a groove, that is coming much easier.
I can now see how and why someone would start and then quit. up until this point, it really hasn't been fun ... but we're not quitters over here!

the biggest revelation to finding this groove is = RECESS.
boys are physical. period. Samuel is the one "in school," however, because its homeschool, Elliott is "in" too. he just doesn't know it.
in my perfect world, we'd get up in the morning, have our breakfast, and get right to our schoolwork. that way we could have the rest of the day to do ... whatever. we could be done by 11am if we were focused, and that's what I would strive for ... which is why it was so frustrating. it never worked out.
that perfect world is in my head, its not a real place.
isn't it funny [or some days, not-so-funny] how children wake up, INSTANTLY ready to go? their energy levels are INSTANTLY high. they don't usually need that wake up time you and I do ... or at least I do. they just have an on/off switch, and nothing else.
it can't be just my kid ... tell me its not just my kid!
I had to integrate that "whatever" time first thing in the morning, rather than later in the day. that's the beauty of homeschool, right? that I can do just that. so now, we do recess first thing to get some of that excess energy out.
today we went swimming for an hour & a half, came home, had a snack, and focus for schoolwork was instantly there. it was magical.

coincidentally, I read this article today.

I've committed to doing 1st grade at home. after that, we'll re-evaluate. I make no promises, but, so far so good.

getting over the blog hump

the most difficult thing to beginning anything, is having the correct mindset to do it. starting the biggest hump to get over ... and, what's the point of this blog if I don't post. right?

the problem is always, where to begin?
at the beginning?
hope you're not holding your breath ... that's not happening.
or maybe you're not doing that.

either way, here's the basics of my life since my last post -
* my first baby turned 6, which means my second baby is 2 1/2 now.
* I've signed up for a class and am excited to get back in the design world.
* I am in touch with someone who I thought was long lost from my past. thanks to facebook, it really is a small world!
* we're finding our homeschooling rhythm!
* and sadly, marriage problems are arising ... hey, I'm going to get some guts and finally begin to post about it. maybe it will help others? maybe not. maybe I'll just vent, but I promise to do it tastefully and not just bitch, k? I'm realizing because I'm such a "feeler," God uses things/people I care about the most to expose those feelings, right or wrong, good or bad ... which is why my marriage has been on such a roller coaster ride. a post within itself I suppose ... for another day.

and now you know my life is not all puppy dogs and rainbows.
consider yourself warned.

and [hopefully] I'll get into more detail about my list sooner than later ... because I'm sure you are all dying to know ... right?! :)