Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Housing Offices Are Helpful

Alternative Title: Housing Offices Rush People

We've been on the waitlist for a 4 bedroom house since February. Patiently, we waited for a home to become available. The way the office does it, they can place you anywhere on the island. Anywhere. We could have moved closer to North Shore, closer to downtown. The Air Force Base. I was very concerned by this because Piglet is in Special Ed. on base here and moving would mean transferring schools. We were also last on the list, so we weren't even moving.

I told Hubs to call the housing officer and let them know that we were now enrolled in EFMP and that we needed to stay in this housing area to keep Piglet in school and what paperwork did the housing office need to get to moving.

The lady told us she didn't need paperwork. And there was a 4 bedroom house available a block down the street. We could be moved in by November. Then the lady went on vacation and didn't tell anyone in her office.

She finally came back to work and Hubs got in touch with her, she said they could do a walkthrough pretty much at that moment and if we liked the house, it would also be our move-in inspection.

That was Tuesday (the 21st) afternoon.

Hubs took the house and we had to move by Monday (the 27th). He got the keys to the new house and we got to moving. Literally. I bought 4 large boxed from Walmart and we used those plus our suitcases to fill up, move stuff, repeat. We hired The Worst Movers In Hawaii to move our furniture and spent most of Friday cursing their name.

How bad were they you ask?

The packed our clothes from our dressers. To move 150 feet down the road. They left some things in them though and then went they moved the dressers, they did so upside down so everything got messed up. One drawer, I couldn't even open without violently shaking the entire dresser. They were also 5 hours late. Moved super slow and needed 2 trips. By the time they got everything in the house, I just wanted them gone. They asked if they should put the beds together or hook up the washer and dryer, I told them no. We paid them and basically went to bed at like 730.

Hubs spent all weekend cleaning the old house and I spent all weekend trying to straighten up the new house without moving too many heavy things. We got the downstairs almost squared away and the bedrooms are coming along. Hopefully we'll have everything done soon because it's almost the holiday season and we've got a bunch of family coming to visit.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

National Volcano Park

Over Discover's Day Weekend (Columbus Day for you non-Hawaii folks) we decided to go to Hilo, Hawaii. That's right, the Big Island. One of my goals is to visit other islands and we had a long weekend and I was determined to go. Hubs was away on business the week before so I planned the whole trip and we got to packing. It's colder over there so I got the kids sweatshirts and sneakers, they both thought they were crazy. Blueberry hasn't worn long sleeves outside of pjs since she was, um, 3 months old? A long time. Piglet forgot about socks. It was wild. He's also picky about shoes so he only wore his sneakers for about 10 minutes. Luckily, it wasn't too cold.

Rainbow Falls

We didn't rent a car for the weekend so in order to see the sights, we went on a driving tour. First up, was Rainbow Falls. It was a much better waterfall than the one we saw on O'ahu so I was excited. There were also crazy people who were jumping off of it. Dangerous!

Walking up the volcano

Next we stopped at the cool walking part. We were walking through a jungle area but it was cooler, almost like being in a forest on the mainland. There was a neat tunnel made from old lava we walked through. Both the kids were troopers and walked the whole thing.

At the top

We got to the top for sunset, before the sun went down, we walked around and explored. There is a small museum and gift shop where everyone got something but me (because I forgot to pick something out!) and we ate dinner. Our tour came with snacks and dinner. We had a bento meal and it was so good. A rainbow also showed up and I thought it was pretty cool. We also saw where it started but no one wanted to walk down the crater with me to get the gold. Party-poopers.


We watched the crater and as the sun went down, it started to glow! That's lava, coming to get us. Okay, not that dramatic but it was pretty amazing to see that it's not just smoke coming out, there's molten earth too.

the best we could do

Overall, it was a nice trip. Hilo basically shuts down at 7 pm, so it was definitely the country but now, we can all say we've seen a volcano up close and personal!

Next up, Maui!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Double Chocolate Brownies

Certain people on Twitter this weekend would not stop talking about brownies this weekend and so I decided to make some because once someone mentions brownies, you can't help but want one. Or two. Or five.

This recipe is from my mom and normally, you bake it in a 9 inch dish but for some reason, my brownie pan was MIA so I made brownie bites. They taste the same and are portable.

So, without further ado, here's my mom's delicious brownie recipe. And you'll never need another one. Ever.

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well-loved recipe card that I burned one time in the corner. whoops

Here's what you need:

3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine (I use Butter Flavored Crisco)
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 – 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

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Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a small saucepan combine sugar, butter and water over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts. Remove from heat and add ½ bag (1 cup) chocolate chips. Stir until smooth.

Remove chocolate mixture to a bowl and add vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time quickly so the eggs do not cook. Stir in flour mixture remaining ½ bag chocolate chips and nuts if used.

Spread into a greased 9” square pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Here We Go (Again)!

This past Tuesday was supposed to be our due date. I had worried that the day would be a hard one and was more than happy that it passed pretty easily. Of course, we are no longer sitting around the house mourning. We were excited, because the next day (Wednesday), we were heading back to the hospital to get an ultrasound to see our baby.

Yes, our baby.

We have been blessed with another pregnancy and after convincing the hospital to do a dating ultrasound, we were able to see that little bug doing the worm for about 15 minutes.

Are we still scared? Always. I was nervous every single day of my pregnancies. I was nervous until Piglet and Blueberry were placed on my chest, gooey and squishy-faced.

But we are also hopeful. And happy. And ready.

This baby is already dancing on the ultrasound, the heartbeat was strong. So now, we wait.

You all might be counting down to Christmas, but I'm counting down to the anatomy scan - which is also that week.

If you're the praying type, please send us a prayer. We're praying for a safe and uneventful pregnancy. Boring baby number three!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Piglet has been in the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) since he was diagnosed with autism. On the base here, they have monthly events for EFMP kids to attend, coffees for the parents, even movie afternoons. Piglet never gets to go to these things because he's in school, I don't go to the coffees because I'm at work. But I still check the calendar and I was glad I did, this month was a trip to the pumpkin patch. And it was during fall break so I decided we should go.

We went to the pumpkin patch last year, so I knew what to expect. We arrived at the right time but there was only 1 other family there. We waited. A dude came up and said that "several families went to the wrong place so we're going to wait." The event was only supposed to last an hour, but we waited 45 minutes to even get started. I was irritated. Piglet was irritated. The other kids who were there seemed so normal and were not at all irritated.

We watched a short film and learned that Hawaii is now growing broccoli year round. How exciting. Then we went on a hay ride around the farm. It was cool to see all the different crops and the lady on our wagon knew a lot about growing times. Piglet was less than impressed.

After the hay ride, we were supposed to go pick a pumpkin from the field. But poor Piglet was having none of it. As soon as the wagon stopped, he made a beeline for the exit and just kept walking. I tried to get him to come to the tent and have a drink of water and to calm down. I wanted a big pumpkin but he wanted to go home. He kept on walking. The EFMP coordinator came by and asked if we were okay, I told him "no, he's done. too much excitement for him." The guy looked confused. Most of the EFMP kids there were for medical reasons; asthma, diabetes, etc. He didn't realize Piglet was autistic and I was little pissed about that.

As we were leaving, one of the farm workers was nice enough to let Piglet pick out 2 little pumpkins. He chose an orange one and a white one, placed them in his bag, and headed to the car. I counted it as a win. I honestly didn't think he'd get on the hay ride but he did. Little steps I suppose.

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