Raising Daughters

To be honest, raising a daughter is something I never thought I'd be doing when I married Island Dad. He comes from a family with two or three generations of mostly boys. Some girls, but very few. Most women in the family have married in, like myself.

When I first became pregnant with Island Girl, I was immediately quite positive she would be a girl. I never could refer to her as anything other than "she." Of course, given the odds, I was also somewhat certain that I would be corrected at the ultrasound, and be told that she was a boy. Obviously, my motherly intuition was correct, and we were told that she was, indeed, a girl.

With finding out that she was a girl came a moment over dinner when Island Dad went as completely white as he can, and said "Ughhhh....she's going to DATE some day!" Of course, he remembered what it was like to be a teenage BOY [insert knowing look here].

Her birth and now developing personality have brought out a fairly different set of worries in me. While Island Dad remembers what teenage boys are like, I, unfortunately, remember what teenage GIRLS are like. I have, in my head, a list of things I want for her when she hits that age. It looks something like this:
  • To be as free from "drama" as possible.
  • To have good, close friends, who are supportive, not back-stabbing (note that I was fortunate enough to have such friends!)
  • To understand that not only is it acceptable, but it is BETTER to be a "smart" girl.
  • To understand that it is completely unacceptable to dumb yourself down. For anyone.
  • To learn to balance a social life and also academic life.
  • To know that even when it doesn't seem so, Island Dad and I want what is best for her, and we support her.
Of course, I want things like this for Island Boy, as well (particularly those last two). But it seems to me that many of these things are very specific to adolescent girls. What bothers me is that I honestly don't think I have the slightest idea of how to help her attain these goals. 

Yes, I realize that her teenage years are far in the future, but I'm sure that 13 will be here before I'm ready (and the teenage attitude may show up even earlier than that). I'm also sure that teaching her these things has to start before she hits that point.

Advice, please? 

Because it is hard to imagine this sweet, happy baby turning into that teenager!


Bear With Me

As you can see, I'm undergoing some renovations currently! I hope to have the kinks worked out in the next few days.


Another Pancake Sunday!

Wow! This week sure went by quickly! Island Dad had last Monday off. Then Wednesday was Liberation Day here. The base did not shut down entirely, but Island Dad did get to leave work at noon, in order to attend the parade. To give you an idea of what a big deal this is, the parade started sometime around 10:30 and didn't end until around 2 or 2:30. The people of Guam definitely know how to throw a party!

Briefly, Liberation Day celebrates the 1944 liberation of Guam from Japanese occupation. More information can be found here and here.

We did take the Island Kids down to check out the parade for a bit. Island Boy had only ever been to one other parade before, and he was just 8-months-old at the time. Island Girl, of course, had never witnessed a parade before. Overall, they greatly enjoyed themselves. Island Boy quickly discovered the candy hand-outs at parades (that would be a mouth-full-of-candy expression in the picture).

I went and got Sno Cones for all of us to share. Unfortunately, I didn't do a good enough job of explaining to Island Girl that by "all of us," I meant Island Dad, Island Boy, and me, because she is clearly too young for flavored-sugar-water-syrup. She did not get any, but not for lack of trying on her part!

We did not get a picture, but later, we had taken the binky out of her mouth and she was totally trying to actually eat the sno-cone.

In the end, it was hot, but we had a great time, and Island Boy (and all of us, really), LOVED the floats!

On to Pancake Sunday!

Today's pancakes were again Bisquick-based, though I was running low on mix, so I had to get creative.

Granola Pancakes

1 1/2 c. Bisquick mix
1/2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 egg
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. dried cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir until dry mix is well-blended. Pour batter, 1/4 at a time, onto a hot griddle (I use an electric griddle set to medium-high heat). When pancakes are bubbly on top and looking "dry" around the edges, flip. Let them cook about another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, and remove.

Island Dad commented that the oatmeal gave them a more unique texture and made them seem almost more like cookies than pancakes (though these are surely healthier than cookies)!

As I am now out of Bisquick mix, be prepared for something a bit more daring next Sunday! As always, I welcome suggestions for new kinds of pancakes to try.


Pancake Sundays

Now that we are moved in and fairly settled here on the Island, I have instituted "Pancake Sundays." I am hoping this will become a family tradition for us, and give us a chance to sit down and enjoy a "real" breakfast all together once a week. Except this week. Island Dad was busy power washing the roof this morning. But as a general rule, Sundays are the one day breakfast is a family meal for us.

So we began this week! Rather than kick off a new tradition with plain pancakes, I wanted something a bit more fun. I went with "Chunky Monkey" pancakes. In following weeks, I will post pictures, but as I am posting from my phone still, I am not able to share one this week.

6 Tbsp. mashed ripe bananas*
2 c. Bisquick mix
1 c. milk
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, combine the first three ingredients. Stir until the dry mix is well-incorporated. Stir in mini-chips.
Cook as directed on the Bisquick box.

*Note that the banana serves as an egg substitute as well as flavoring. DO NOT ADD the eggs directed on the box.

These were a huge hit with the whole family (well, all but Island Girl - She's still too little). Island Boy, in particular, devoured three of them very quickly! They are dense pancakes, so even Island Dad and I only had four each!

As we move forward with Pancake Sundays, I will be looking for some more "fun" recipes. Please feel free to share your favorites!!


Mapping it all Out

Before we moved here, we were warned that the streets are notoriously badly marked, and that navigation tends to be land-mark based. Once we arrived here, we learned that not only is this very true, but that street names change relatively frequently.

Because of this, Island Dad and I have had to develop our map-making skills fairly quickly. Not to get our friends to our house, but to get people like the cable guy, the power company, water authority, etc. to our house.

Mind you, I'm not the least bit upset by this. It actually saves a good deal of hassle, and in my opinion, places on the mainland would do well to ask this of customers, as well. All of the above mentioned places have a space on their forms for a house description (including a "check yes or no" for whether your house number is displayed or not), and then a big blank space for your map! As someone who kind of enjoys filling out forms (I know I'm a freak), I like that I also get to hone my artistic and cartography skills at the same time!


What We've Been up to!

We have been busy busy here on The Island over the last week-and-a-half!

On Friday the second, through an act of realtor benevolence, we were able to move into our house before actually closing on it (that happens tomorrow).

Literally all of our worldly posessions arrived the following Tuesday. We have been sifting out piles of stuff for the past week. We are finally almost done!

Island Boy's behavior has improved greatly since being in a house with HIS things. Moving day was like Christmas for him, he was so excited!

Island Girl has been busy, as well! She turned four months old on Saturday. She celebrated the next day with her first taste of rice cereal (a relative success), and rolling back to tummy all on her own! She has tried the rolling a few times since, and today also went tummy to back twice. I think she will keep me and Island Dad on our toes! Island Girl is also (we think) working on some teeth now. Yippee.

We should b getting "real" Internet back soon, so updates will be more frequent from now on.

Names have been Changed

As you know, I do not use our real names. This is for several reasons, all of which basically come down to the fact that it's just safer for us and especially for the kids if our personal info isn't right out there for everyone in the world to see and/or (God forbid!!) use.

That said, it was brought to my attention that the initial pseudonyms I used might be confusing.
From here on out:
Mr. J. will now be Island Boy
Miss S. will now be Island Girl
Mr. I. will now be Island Dad
and I will now be Island Mom