Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas's Christmas day...I'm waiting while the boys get ready to leave for the weekend...thought I'd write some nice stuff in the meantime.

I woke up this morning to Kekoa's phone call..."Mom...are you awake? Did you just wake up? Come to breakfast in 1/2 hour..." Last night the boys spent the night with my brothers playing the Wii at Keaka's house. It's a different kind of Christmas Eve now that the boys are kind of grown...they'd rather hang out with my crazy brothers than wait for Santa ;)

I have to admit that I do not miss the Christmas Eve's where I gnawed on 9 carrots and ate some cookies or donut that was left for Santa...when they were little, the boys always checked to make sure that Santa and the reindeer had eaten their treats...yuck haha.

We had our traditional Hanamaikai Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange at Keaka's house. Britney had the nieces and nephews perform the Christmas Story. It's adorable to see children bundled up in various towels and sheets, dragging each other around the room, the way the crying enrupts amidst the laughter and dazed gazes off into space as they kneel around a little doll in a basket. It was precious. I remember Kekoa's first Christmas...he was the doll in the basket that year...ahh, what a darling baby.

After the end of the Christmas story, I played Joy to the World as my annual violin solo showing and the family sang together. After that it was all a mess of wrapping paper and clapping as we took turns opening gifts. I tend to melt back into the scenery and watch my family, how they have all grown up, how the nieces and nephews are not babies any more either, but most of all, I just watch and wonder how did so much time pass since it was me, Quinn, and Kaleo teasing Haruko on her smurf big wheel while Keaka sneaked our candy out of our stockings...sigh.

This morning I got ready and headed over to my Mom's house for breakfast. It's so nice to walk into the house, warm and a buzz with all of the voices of the people I love the most. As I entered, I was greeted by "KUULEI!!!"...hahaha...they love me ;) I teased Kiko with a nod to Harry Potter by wishing her a Happy Christmas, then we broke down laughing...Kiko and her "Hogwarts is not real, but I wish it was" issues.

We had a lovely breakfast...just a lot of talking and then opening of gifts. My fav gift this year was the book, "The Alchemist" that my Mom got for me. It's perfect for me, if you know the book you'll know that it is me. The boys got me earrings from Argento and a beautiful red scarf. They know how to love and spoil their Mommer :)

This year the boys are so grown up that it was just clothes. It's not as fun as buying toys for them like when they were little, but they are happy strutting around asking, "Hey Mom...this looks good huh." Mmhmm! You are both ridiculously good looking!

Ah, I am beginning to feel that kind of anticlimatic melancholy right now...I'm at home and the house feels soo empty without the boys here with me. I miss them, but I know they are off to brighten the lives of the rest of their family...the boys, you are the make your Mom so proud. I am going to head back to my Mom's house where I will pull out the violin for an encore performance at the neighbor's house as our family gift to them.

I just wanted to give you a glimpse into what Christmas is like for us. Not alot of glitz, but definitely a lot of love. Here is a favorite Christmas wish to all of you, my friends: I wish you all, each and every one, all your own dearly held hopes and wishes and dreams come true from this day forward as I also thank you all, each and every one, for all the joy, inspiration and grace you bring to my life. Merry Christmas :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Latest with Kuulei and the Boys :)

I should be going back to sleep for another 1/2 hour, but the morning is too perfect to waste sleeping. I pulled out the laptop, opened up my room window to let in some of the last of the temperate morning breeze of the season, put on some Bocelli and a little Wyclef Jean to sing to me of the sentimental longing about leaving the ones we love and returning in November...Laying here on my bed, the blankets all gathered around me, I feel nestled in and ready to write about my boys :)

Last night, Kekoa was downloading pictures of his homecoming date last weekend on Facebook. He wanted me to say that his date was pretty...I kind of held it over him and didn't gush an "Oooo" or "Ahhh" about the girl, however, I sure did about him. It's amazing to see Koa now; he's grown up, the babyish chub around his chin continues to fade away, replaced by this awful facial hair nest that he says that girls say is "sexy". Yeah, I had him shave it last week and plan on having him shave the remains again today.

But honestly, he's so handsome. When he was getting ready for the dance last weekend, I was just watching him thinking how that the then little 5 pounds 7 ounces baby boy grew up to be 190 pounds of semi devastatingly gorgeous young man. He does have some of his Dad's physical features, even some of his Dad's personality, but overall, he is uniquely Koa. He kept asking me if he looked good, "Yes look great." Sigh...he's beautiful and so darn adorable, checking himself again and again in the Koa.

I went to the homecoming football game with the boys on Friday night last week. At Timpview, it seems common for people who went to school there to gather to the homecoming game, so I went to see who I could see. I texted the boys when I arrived, then made my way through aisles of kids running around in orange and blue. All of the sudden, I felt two big arms squeeze me from the was Koa. He had come down the stands to take me up to him and Kaikers. He stood in front of me, so I wrapped my arms around his chest and we walked through the mess of cheering/talking freakishly hyper kids together :)

The boys were sitting in the student section. I know I should have sat in the section just to the right of that one with other adult onlookers, but I came to the game to be with my boys, so I stood between them, kind of hiding, balancing in my heels in between my boys on the bench. Kekoa introduced me to one of his friends. She seemed like a cute little poly girl.

Then there is Robert, a friend that Koa has known since grade school. He's part Hawaiian, but mostly caucasian, however the ukulele in hand and the pidgeon that he speaks says otherwise. I'm glad that Koa has Robert to be silly poly kids's cool and yet I strain at the idea. But when I look at Koa, when I look at his swaggering walk, or the way he looks all "tough" with his masculine postures, it reminds me of a younger John Hanamaikai, my grandfather, who was too cool for words and just enough tender hearted to win the heart and hand of a lovely japanese girl all those years ago in Hawaii.

I often think to myself, "Grandpa, you'd better watch out for my boy...he's so like you, just watch out for him okay." I think my Grandpa Hanamaikai wanted my parents to name one of their sons "Kekoa", but it never happened, so I took the name and gave it to my son instead, and coupled with my Grandpa's middle name "Keli'i" too. I loved that man, even though I didn't know him well.

I love my Grandpa Hanamaikai, for his harshness, for his kindness, for all the strength and weakness of him that I know pulses through my veins as well. It was only right to name my son in his honor. When Koa is headstrong against me, I can almost imagine my Grandpa laughing at me as he remembers what it's like to argue and power play with his children, most of all, I can imagine him telling me, "Bay (as in babe) careful, don't push him too hard." spoken from a person who knows. I hope one day to be able to present my Koa to my Grandpa, to proudly show him how wonderful his posterity has become and the good works we have done with his name.

Oh that was quite the aside....back to the story...Kekoa proceeded to tell the girl that I used to go to school at Timpview. She kind of squeeled and asked, "What did you do here?" Umm...let me think, how do I answer that one? Haha. So I told her that I played volleyball, basketball, and softball and was the captain of all 3 teams one year. I was in the orchestra and did a short stint on the drama team (mostly for the yearbook picture opp), but that other than that, I just hung out with friends and went to school. This answer seemed to please her and she was somewhat impressed, especially with the fact that I used to set on the volleyball team. It was cute.

But the part that I loved was how proud Koa seemed to be of me upon the approval of his friend. Silly huh...but come on, I love that boy and if anyone is going to be proud of me, I want it to be my sons. Kekoa then turned to the girl and said, " Mom...she can sing too, really good at singing too." How sweet to hear that boy brag on me for a minute...last week he was playing his ukulele and I was singing with him at my office while I worked. Koa's amazing that's all there is to say.

I turned back around and stood by Ikaika, who kept telling me, "No Mom, don't kiss me, no Mom, stop holding my hand..." I know it's wicked, but I was teasing him and kissing him on the cheek because he was trying so hard to look cool. little bunner. I was remarking about how small one of the band kids looked (seriously there is no way that kid is much bigger than the boys were when they were in 4th grade) and then of course, there is the other extreme with a boy that was I swear like 6' 2" and 250 pounds...crazy. But of the little guy, Ikaika said, "Mom, that is my friend so and so, he doesn't have a lot of friends so I say hi to him whenever I see him...etc..." Hmm, another proud moment, I see that the child has grown up with a sense of responsibility and kindness for others infused into him so much that I do not need to be there to instruct him any longer on the "how to play nice with others" issue.

After a while, Koa took his place on my left and Kaika on my right, and I stood there with my arms wound through their arms and we looked out over the field together. I looked around and wondered if there was a way to stop time, to stay there in that moment a little longer. Of course the pulchritudinous moment was altered by the arrival of Kekoa's love interest...hmph, I did fume a bit as he left my side and went to her. But if he knew that the reason I tease him so insistently about girls is that I wonder if she knows how dear he is, how lucky she is to have him, and of course, I just hate to lose my boy, my baby Koko. The girl is pretty enough, apparently she is dedicated to her schoolwork, and she is involved in sports, aside from that, she has lived abroad and is not a dumb head because well...she is smart enough to pick my son :)

I didn't stay for the end of the football game. I left with about 5 minutes to go in the last quarter. I did kiss the boys is always funny because in public, Koa is so happy to hug and kiss me and Ikaika acts as if it is insufferable, whereas when we are at home, I have a little bunny curled up next to me most of the time, and Koa can't be bothered to kiss me LOL...the boys....sheesh. I left them amidst the sea of silly kids, feeling quite content for the moment with the time I'd had with them that night.

Fast forward back to this morning: This morning when I was driving Kaika to school, I was telling him that he's always going to be my baby, no matter what. He likes to argue against me, while holding my pinky in his pinky of course ;) "Nope, I'm not your baby." Then I pinch his cheek and say, "Oh yes you are, I made you." And Kaika answers back, "You didn't make me..." his way of pressing me to keep playing the "" game. So I said, "Oh yes I did, you were a little parasite that sucked some of the best stuff out of my cells for 9 months and almost 2 weeks, so yes, I did make you." To which he answers in a coy fashion, "No Mommer, I was not a parasite, it was a case of mutualism...I took your best and you got a baby." Little stinker. But I did laugh..."mutualism" we're just gonna make up words now bun? Haha, it's clever enough and therefore does delight me.

I was telling Kaika how handsome he and Koa are as we drove. That mildly arrogant little bugger just said, "Duh Mom...duh." LOL. So we drive on, and get behind the dreaded bus. Blast, every bloody morning at 7:16 a.m. there is this bus that pulls out in front of us on Canyon Road. We try to beat the bus, but somehow, always manage to get behind it. Ikaika and I shake our fists in the air as we curse the bus for going so slow, then we laugh because it's just another game we play...I'm glad for these times because I know that one day, Ikaika will get stuck behind a school bus and think, "'Dang you bus..." and laugh to himself because it will remind him of how we once were when he was young.

And then, before I drop Kaikers off at school, I tell him that one day I will spoil his baby cupe-cakes the way I spoiled and loved him when he grew up. But Kaika will not have it, he says, "No, you have to be the mean, old grandma, no spoiling, nope." Haha, truth is this: No, you're my Mommer and no one else gets to be spoiled by you except me. And then we stop the car, he hops out, I smack the side of his leg and tell him to have a good day, and he nonchalantly looks back at me and shakes his head. No kiss goodbye, just a brief and unnoticeable nod of the head, and my son is gone to school.

So I'm home, thinking of the boys some more. I'm proud of them. I love them. I think of my life and you know the thought of having more children, another family, it all seems nice, but I long for more time with my babies, a golden time that seems impossible to improve upon. I can't imagine a baby now or a new family that does not start and end with the boys.

I miss their frosting covered hands, their demands for "Nonalds" or "Beatdonalds" and the play land. I miss the little pants and sweatshirts, bought one size too big so that they looked comfortable and stylish. I miss the raspy voices and high pitched laughter. I miss being able to carry them both in my arms at the same time while they sleep. I miss the school programs and the primary programs where they stand in the front row waving to me with clear smiles and freshly pressed shirts. I miss my babies and wonder if life will ever be better than it has been with them, not to doubt or take value away from any potential children I may yet have, but it's just difficult to think that there will ever be another child as dear to me as the boys are :)

Advice from all of this: enjoy your children, love them, play with them, teach them, remember with them and write about it often :) It all goes by so fast.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Home from SES San Jose 2008 & The Google Dance

Well, I just got home from San Jose, California. I went out for a work conference and learned a lot of new stuff about Search Engine Marketing. I was telling Marek Cerny, a co-worker and friend of mine, that I have a big brain. It's sounds silly, but I feel like my brain did grow a couple of sizes with all of the knowledge that got stuffed in there.

It didn't feel like being in California, probably because it was a lot of work and when we weren't in sessions, I was so tired from lugging around my laptop that I was happy to just go to bed. Marek was totally fun as usual and Scott Jones was also fun - I think we made the perfect team for the Conference because we are all serious about business, but know how to kick back and have fun when the work is over. We collaborate well and build on each other's ideas so it makes for some fantastic business synergy.

And speaking of fun...let me just get on to talking about the Google Dance 2008. The theme was "Glow in the Dark" - it was perfect. Good times, lots learned and I'm ready to go home to get things moving at work :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

2 Days Until Summer Solstice :)

Life is busy - so am I. June is more than half over, I'm staring down my eldest son's 17th birthday in two weeks, and contemplating what I need to do to fit in 2 gym visits a day in preparation for Kev's wedding...more on that later.

I read a few posts on blogs, while waiting for my brother Keaka to come home so that I can coordinate the acquisition of his Volvo for Kekoa...teaching budgeting and responsibility is not easy, but a lot easier when it involves something that every teenager wants: freedom. You have no idea how I cringe at the early morning transportation to football, the picking up from school, the taking him to work, the dances at 7 Peaks on Friday nights...coordinating my life around Kekoa's schedule is NOT what I want to do anymore, as soon as possible. So it's a form of freedom for me too; it will be good, but yeah, I'm sure I'll do a follow up blog on the rules of the car. Ikaika has his driver's permit too. Yes, I have two teenage drivers, hence the biannual Botox injections to avoid the onset of migraines LOL honestly, I love my life and my darling sons.

Kev's wedding...he is getting married on July 15th. He's Travis' brother. He and his fiance are the most adorable couple ever. I am looking forward to their wedding. It will all be wonderful, well everything except saying goodbye as they go start their new life in New York. So the gym visits X 2...I just need something to work towards and I'm using this wedding as milestone/goal number one ;)

I need to write more later...there is an 11 year mark that is coming up that I cannot ignore.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

Ahhh, yes, I have about 11 minutes to spare, so I'll give in and write some of what is in my head and heart right now. So the words of the song of the moment are "you...just like heaven..." Hmm, yeah, that sounds about right for today.

The heaven that has me captivated right now is the time that I have spent with my boys lately. We've had such times lately: clashing opinions about what is a respectable length for a young man's hair or worthwhile reading material, cozy moments of reading "my books" on my bed, laughing while they make fun of the latest movie I have them watch with me, or figuring out how to pack the car full of 300 pounds of food storage items.

I find joy in these everyday moments with them. I catch myself standing back and watching them; how they move, the looks on their faces, and the tone of their voices. Not much escapes my eye where they are concerned.

I see the last remains of my baby sons fading as it is replaced by facial hair and random acts of manly stubbornness. Most days I struggle to keep from weeping with joy mixed with frustration as I feel so concerned about if I have done enough for them.

Last night Koa and I had another little "tiff". I hate those. But if it's not Koa, it's Kaika. The boys seem to take their turns at being little stinkers and wanting to question every single thing I tell them to do etc....

On the way to dinner, I talked to the boys very seriously about what is real and what is worthless. It was probably not the most enjoyable 15 minutes of their lives, but it was an important teaching moment. Yeah the boys are not doing anything grievous, however, it is their attitude and the way they use they ability to choose that had to be talked about last night.

At dinner, we stopped talking seriously and just relaxed. Ikaika wanted me to eat icecream and I didn't want to. So I gave in and when I was eating the icecream, I danced the popsicle in the air while I hummed to the music playing in the restaurant. Ikaika was saying, "Mom, that's not funny, stop...that's not funny." I was laughing and teasing him, "Oh come can this not be funny...if it's not funny, you won't laugh or smile when I do this!" And then I kept dancing the popsicle in front of his face.

Ikaika broke easily - I didn't need to hum more than 5 notes before he was giggling away. Then Kekoa, in his very deep and sober tone said, "Mom, it's not funny." So I looked at him and swooped the popsicle over in front of his face, dancing it to the beat of the music....7 notes and he was laughing. I love laughing with them. Kekoa said, "It's not fair, we can't not smile when you are laughing." If he only knew, I feel the same way about them.

We packed away the food storage and got them settled for the night. Ikaika was laying out his clothes for the morning when he came running into my room and plopped down on my bed.

He had his socks on his hands and he was dancing them in front of my face saying, "Don't smile Mom, don't laugh..." I simply replied that of course I was going to laugh and smile, that I was willing to lose that game cause he was hilarious.

He exhaled with a bit of disappointment and then reached over and pinched my nose with one of his sock puppets. Then we hummed together while he danced his sock puppets...yeah, we are a little weird, but it was funny because that was the song he wanted to sing last night. It went like this: "lala la la la la LA la, lalala la la la la LAAA."

They went to bed and later on, I went in to check on them after they were asleep; to stand in the doorway and watch them sleep peacefully. If they only knew how much I love them, if they only could feel how my heart aches thinking of how it will be when they are gone from me, if they could only know what it feels like to be a parent who knows I'm not perfect but would do what ever I could in behalf of their best good...then maybe they'd know, they can trust in what I say and do as their Mom.

That is my greatest frustration, that in these times of open rebellion by the boys, I feel so cut off, as if they don't know me or my love at all, as if these past umpteen years and the blissful moments we've enjoyed never happened - they forget that it was not too long ago that they were cuddled up in my arms and that there was a time when they trusted that I knew what was best, not because I was right, but only because I was Mom. I miss that.

Anyways, why think about all of this right now. It started with Ikaika texting me: I'm walking to seminary and now it really smells like rain. I replied: I love that smell like I love your bunny laugh. He sent back: Just imagine a dancing popsicle. I laughed and sent back: And if it could hie to Kolob ;) To which he replies: In the twinkling of an eye. I finished it with: Lala la la la to Kolob lala la la lala la.

So yeah, that is what is going on right now: life at it's best...we may not be perfect, but we are making it work :)