Writer’s Workshop: She’s Worth It

birthday girll

I woke up to find giant crocodile tears running down my pig-tailed, Maile’s cheeks on the morning of her 3rd birthday, “It’s not my birthday at all…” she sobbed.

This was my fault. I had decorated the house for her party the night before her birthday every year. She knew it was her birthday because she would wake up to streamers stretching across the room and all kinds of hanging things waiting to celebrate her big day.

The birthday she turned 3 I decided to take a break from the decorating and wait until the next day because I was exhausted and I knew I would have plenty of time the next day.

Maile was anticipating a party, but woke up to nothing. It was like waking up to Christmas to find that Santa didn’t come at all.

Of course I knelt down and swallowed that sad girl into my arms. She had a wonderful day and learned real quick that there is more to a birthday than decorations waiting for you first thing in the morning. However, that vision of her at the top of our stairs, looking so sad and disappointed is one of the many sorry mom fails I own.

This year we celebrated Maile’s party a little earlier to accommodate busy schedules and when the eve of her actual birthday came upon us a few days later I went to her room to say goodnight and she was all, “Do you think you might have a gift for me in the morning when I wake up?” And I was all, “aw shucks. I wish I did, but I don’t since we celebrated your birthday on Saturday.”

She sort of blinked and I thought about how I usually ALWAYS have one gift reserved for the actual day, but I was hoping now that she’s older it wouldn’t be missed. I was all, “Is that disappointing to you?” and she shrugged the question off but I spotted that disappointed pig tailed girl blinking away disappointment. I smiled my motherly goodnight smile and kissed her goodnight, but my brain was already in emergency overdrive. I would not disappoint that pig tailed girl again!

So I raced to Target and that’s how I became The Mom Who Shops At Target At 10pm The Night Before Her Daughter’s Birthday. She’s worth it of course…just look at her. My sweet pig-tailed-girl who would never in a million years allow me to put pig-tails in her hair again. I narrowly avoided another sorry mom fail.

The m&ms I bought were also worth it.

happy birthday maile

Happy 11th Birthday Maile!

For Maile:
Happy Fourth Birthday
Happy Fifth Birthday
Happy Sixth Birthday
Happy Seventh Birthday
Happy Eighth Birthday
Happy Ninth Birthday
Happy Tenth Birthday

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:
1.) A blog post inspired by the word: race
2.) Write about something that creeped you out.
3.) List 6 retired tv shows you’d like to see come back.
4.) What’s cooking in your slow cooker?
5.) Show us your pumpkin patch.

Link up!:

Creepy As Hell

Scary Movies

When I was young, the scariest Disney movie I ever saw was Dumbo.

Don’t get me wrong, Bambi was definitely up there in terms of movies that have devastated me for life, but Dumbo’s pink elephants were so creepy that I often avoided the movie altogether just so I wouldn’t have to get to THAT part.

dumbo pink elephants

A hallucinating, drunk, baby elephant…traumatically separated from his mother, outcast by his own family with a mouse as a guardian.

But he’s just so dang cute, you can’t help but love him despite his dependency.

dumbo and jumbo

My daughters have other movies that scare them. They refuse to see The Box Trolls because it is produced by the same creators of Coraline.


Coraline looked like a cute movie, but some sort of magic put her in a home with parents who had buttons for eyes and they wanted to sew buttons into Coraline’s eyes. My terrified daughters couldn’t even make it through the movie before crying for me to turn it off.

coraline other parents

Coraline forever ruined their love affair with Lalaloopsy dolls.

The truth is, I think Coraline is creepy as hell too. I’ll take a hallucinating elephant over button eyes any day.

coraline careful what you wish for

What childhood movie scared you?


It Is Embarrassing

Getting Ready For School

I’ve been taking Kainoa to school for the past couple of weeks even though the other kids ride the school bus because he’s a mama’s boy and because I can. In the past this wasn’t an option because I had kids in the daycare I had to stick around for and this year, aside from the occasional friendly drop in, all of my daycare kids are before/after school.

And because I get the privilege of taking him to school, I also get to swing by my daughters lines and give them one last warm hug goodbye.

Except Laina doesn’t much appreciate my warm hugs.

“Will you stop coming to my line, it is embarrassing.”

“But I’m so nice!” I said.

“Your friends like me!” I said.

“I’m going to make you popular!!” I said.

“I don’t want to be popular.” She responded.

GASP…I know.

Laina On The Big Wheel

So I stopped going to her line because I was NOT going to be that mom who can’t take a hint and I was NOT going to get hurt feelings, because this embarrassing stage is to be expected. It’s not us…it’s them.

But then she became the STAR Student of the Week!!

The STAR Student of the Week gets to be line leader!
The STAR Student of the Week brings family photos to school!
The STAR Student of the Week gets to have lunch with a parent!

“But I don’t want to do the lunch thing,” she said, “You don’t need to come for that.”

I heard what she said. I did.

But did she mean it? Did she really? I couldn’t be so sure. Maybe she thinks she doesn’t want me to bring lunch to her, but she loves McDonalds. Certainly she would love to see me if I had a Happy Meal in hand to share with my little STAR!

taking kainoa to school

No…no that would be not be enough. I was going to have to be better than that so that the kids in class would be all, “Laina! Your mom is the coolest! WE LOVE YOU!”

Bringing a Happy Meal to class for her would only make them jealous and annoyed that they didn’t get one.


You get a cheeseburger, YOU get a cheeseburger, You over there with the nose picking problem…YOU GET A CHEESEBURGER!!!

I sat in her classroom and waited for the kids to return from recess with my bags of cheeseburgers in my lap.

Maybe this was a bad idea…

My heart was pounding.

Why am I doing this? Why do I constantly put myself in the position to utterly embarrass myself. I quickly texted my sister and she responded by said, “well at least you’re not wearing a Mrs. Claus outfit this time.” Which was true. I can always make things worse for myself.

mrs claus

And then the door swung open and there stood my STAR with the entire class lined up behind her. The look on her face was a mixture of panic and that face I only see when she’s about to burst into tears.

I smiled and held out my bags of cheeseburgers while willing her not to cry. OMG please don’t cry! She smiled politely and between clenched teeth asked when I would be leaving and the only thing that saved me in that moment from a lifetime of an icy cold shoulder, were the CHEERS coming from the rest of the class.


They saw the cheeseburgers. THEY LOVED ME!

My STAR student took it in stride.

The burgers were handed out and I tip toed back to my car and high tailed my Cool Mom butt back home.

I’ll admit I was nervous about the lashing I might receive when the bus pulled up…but when she walked through the door she looked at me and the first words out of her mouth were, “Mom, everyone was so happy!”

I breathed a huge sigh of relief and then she followed up with, “don’t ever do that again.”

And I heard what she said. I did.

But I’m not so sure she means it…


Stop Breathing!!!


I’ve been trying to curb my reaction to the kids when they breathe and chew. I used to yell at my sister about her loud breathing all the time when we were growing up. Kind of hard to enjoy TGIF Fridays when your sister can’t close her damn mouth.

Turns out she had a deviated septum. She literally could not breathe through her nose like the rest of civilization.

And then I became the bad guy for bullying her about it for years when I should have been celebrated as her hero for bringing attention to it in the first place.

I’m careful with the kids because I don’t ever want them to feel like repulsed by the sounds of them chewing and breathing. And I don’t want to encourage on this tendency to despise people who make loud mouth sounds.

I am SO polite when I say things like, “Would you mind chewing that in the farthest corner of the house instead of RIGHT NEXT TO ME please?”

I know I am failing at this because the other day I heard Maile say, “STOP! Now I know how MOM feels!!”

And then the other morning while Kainoa hovered over Laina while she played a game on her iPod, out of nowhere she snapped, “Stop breathing!!!!”

To which he replied with an exasperated, “I’M NOT!!!”

To which I giggled behind my computer screen because obviously he IS breathing.

But I put my Mom hat on and handled the situation in the most mature adult way I knew how, “Kainoa, if you want to watch Laina play games on her iPod you need to stop breathing.”

I got your back Laina.

kid talk

Paper Chain Countdown

How Many Days Of School

I remember the feeling.

Wondering if school was EVER going to end.

The days were too long.

The work was too hard.

I tried to conjur up reasons that might require me to stop altogether.

I thought about quitting.

I counted down the days until I could finally be done.

The only difference is I was a Junior in college, not in first grade.


Someone grab us a stack of cardstock, we’ve got quite a paper chain countdown to build…

I Feel The Same Way About Vodka

ice cream makes me sleepy

Kainoa was pretty lethargic after a trip for ice cream and I was all, “what’s going on little buddy? Not feeling good?”

And he was all, “that ice cream makes me sleepy, ’cause I get up HIGH and then I go down low and it makes me sleepy.”

“I know what you mean,” I said, “I feel the same way about vodka.”

After Seven Years Of Catholic School

I overheard Laina educating her little brother about how God is Jesus and I found the conversation interesting purely because church attendance on behalf of our family has been spotty at best over the course of Laina’s life. I felt I should probably interject,

“Well Laina, actuallllllly…God is not Jesus…well what I mean is that God is our father, the son, and also the Holy Spirit. One entity. You know what an “entity” is right Laina? Yes, one entity that is actually three very important parts. Would it be easier for you to understand if we referred to all three parts of that entity as The Holy Trinity? So you’re right in that God is Jesus…or I mean Jesus is God…well like a part of God, or that God is in Jesus. In all of us? I think. Okay wait, let’s start over, ahem, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….”

This is a fun conversation to have with kids when after seven years of Catholic school education you still don’t really know what the heck you’re talking about.

I think I like her simplified version better. Why do we have to grow up and complicate everything?

god is jesus