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Things I Miss About Hawai’i

It has been almost a year and a half since I was in Hawai’i; it’s the longest I have been away.

Shark's Cove

Shark’s Cove

I miss swimming the afternoons in the ocean with my dad, chasing his fins.
Running from the aquatic life; even strokes like I am flying.
Breathe in gasping for sustenance, exhale bubbles of success.

I miss plate lunches, good Japanese food, and all the fusion food.
I miss year-round BBQs without shooing away insects and animals I’m unfamiliar with.
Rice in every plate, mochi in drinks, nostalgia in every bite.

I miss the trade winds.
I miss the constant, gentle reminder of being part of something bigger than myself.

I miss the hemmajang speech collecting words from every language.
But one heart.

I miss the flowers, the colors, and all the crazy prints.
The way the sun shines, the tempo of life.

I miss my friends.
I miss my family.

I might miss Hawai’i more than I thought I would.

 

Preschool Quips Refreshing Spirits

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and, though this is not going to be a hefty post, I’m going to ease my way back in.  Here are some of the silly things that kids say:

From my beloved Puppylove: “You need to go potty.”  Why?  “Because you keep shaking your leg.”
- “I WON THE RACE!”  You did?  Congratulations.  What’s the prize?  “You.”
- “YAY-HAW!”  “THAT’S A FASHION DISASTER!”
- “I won’t [leave your side] because I love you.”
- “Flabby, flabby,” she says as she pats my chest.
- “but…I thought you loved me!”

I’ve had many precious moments with Thumbsucker, like waffle-handing in the hallways, cuddles and snuggles, and whatnot, but he doesn’t say very many funny things that deserve a line in a blogpost.  He’s something I’d write mini stories on.

From PrincessM: “I know why he likes boys.  BECAUSE HE IS A BOY.”
From Underilly: Where are your underpants?  “Behind the toilet.”  Why?  “To keep it cool.”
From BabyEinstein: “Hey, I need you.”
- “Can you kiss me?  On my nose?  On my cheek?  No?  Why not?  Can you just kiss me?”

From X-Less:  “I am a worm, I am a worm, I am straighty-straight.”
- “Guess what?!  WE’RE HAVING TWO BABY BOYS!”  (every morning)

And last, but definitely not least, from CBug: CBug, go potty.  “I don’t neeeeed to go potty.”  Why not?  “I just pooped”  When?  “I just pooped in my pants.”

My First Day Teaching

The flu is going around, and I caught it.  After being home sick for two days (something to do with being quarantined for 24 hours after getting rid of a fever, even though I still have a mild one?  Doesn’t matter, the point is that I was sicker than the past two times…) and returning to more sick coworkers and students I was forewarned that I may end up teaching on Friday.  No big deal, right?  As an aide for two and a half months I should have this down.

Let me tell you something, teaching is hard work. I have never followed a lesson plan before, and I am grateful that I work with the most organized person I know.  I actually have never seen a lesson plan before and didn’t know what curricula looked like!

Anyway, the Director told us to go and have an extended playtime, which we did, and my aide for the day, Puppylove’s* mom, was out on the floor playing with the kids.  (I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten a glimpse into the kind of mom I’m going to look like and be…  She’s amazing – so, there’s hope for me!)  As we get back to the room we switch up the routine a bit starting with pledges.  I almost botch pledges, it’s not looking to be a promising morning…  I waltz into Bible time which is a review on what heaven is and how you get to heaven.  I almost pray circles in front of the kids so I cut it short and we do the memory verse of the week instead.

With more playtime introduced the slightly-bored children pick up their spirits and remain cute as they fight among themselves in the classroom.  Puppylove’s mama helped me smooth over some rough patches, and she’s a wizard!  I guess having four boys will do that to you…  We finally got the kids through another round of bathroom and water breaks and then I settled into some phonics (Nicky Narwhal), counting to 20, name recognition, and a story about Amber Lamb, but not all in that order.  Somewhere along the lines I started bumbling along again and missed a lot of important things, like singing the phonics song, but the moment we got them to color/count their numbers (7, because I couldn’t find what number we were actually on for the week) they were much more settled and happy.  We did have a boo-boo when C-Bug hit her head on the table which required the pick-me-up Popsicle, but we made it through dismissal, lunch, breaks, and our times to leave.

After this exhausting day I hopped into my car and only then realized how much of a student I had become – a genuine student.  These kids were teaching me things that I could only pray would seep in through the lesson plans: patience, kindness, gentleness, and respect.  It is odd to me that they’re only beginning to grapple with these intangible but valuable attributes, and I have to be the model for them.  I do so much studying on my free time and I am guarding my words closer than ever – their lessons in self-control are really making me learn to control myself…  So maybe next time will be better.

*Names changed to protect the tiny humans

The Chaos of Threes

It has been a long time.

I’m almost through my second month of being a preschool aide – things happen quickly.  One moment I’m volunteering in the elementary school with a hope that I can help out in other areas as needed, and the next moment I’m employed by the preschool and daycare.  It has been a roller coaster of emotions and experiences as I have been to my first Teacher’s Conference, changed my first pull-up, and dealt with more crying children than I have ever been around before.

Funny thing about kids: they’re hilarious.

  • You have a lot of boo-boos; you have boo-boos on your face!  Uhh, no, sorry.  Those are my moles.  I was born with them!  So, they don’t hurt?  Not unless you keep poking them like that.
  • When I broke the blinds the twins told me, “It’s okay, it was an accident.  You don’t have to say ‘sorry’ if it’s an accident and it’s not your fault.”
  • Can I sit on you?
  • Why do you have a funny looking nose?  Uhh, we have the same nose, yours is just littler than mine is!  It’s the same shape!
  • Poop?  I HAVE TO POOP.

There’s a lot to learn.  I’ve had kids drool on me, poop in their underwear then leave it on the floor, and eating rocks.  I also fix toilets, putty walls, and sometimes have nap room duty.

Hopefully I’ll be back more often.

Cuckoo for Cocoa

In honor of the turning of seasons I have been experimenting with making warm beverages since there are not hot cocoa packets lying around.  As you can see I’m really accurate with measurements.

Mint Cocoa

1 spoon unsweetened cocoa
2-3 spoons sugar
1/4 spoon mint extract

Rich Cocoa

2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
4 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups milk
dash of salt