Saturday, December 31, 2011

Give it up for Mele Vasiti and the year 2011

This day, December 31st, last day of 2011 and every year after she was born,  we celebrate her birthday.  My precious,  beautiful and extremely talented Mele Vasiti Toki.  She was born with chunky, glowingly pink cheeks and the biggest, roundest eyes ever.  To this day, she loves when I talk about her pink cheeks.  Mele is now officially a teenager.  She is 13 years old to-day.

Saturday, to-day, the very last remaining day of 2011.  Once gone, will be gone forever.   Vanishes, disappear into the past like a puff of smoke.  Somewhere in time, the past exists only in the dens of our memories and seems but like a fig of our imaginations.

What have I done this year?   No grand accomplishments here but what really counts are the small deeds that mounts up to being grand. What really matters the most.  The love and trust of my husband, children and family.  Finding peace and satisfaction in what God has blessed us with.  Showing gratitude for the smallest and most simple things in life.  True and pure joy, not so much in material things, but that what we have is enough and making do with what we can do without. 

So many things happened this year.   Good and bad, sad and happy.   No matter what happens though, life goes on.  'Time waits for no man."  We have it in our hands but we can't keep it.  So what we do with our time, is so very precious and special.  We need to use time so that we live free of regrets and not be sorry for things we could have done differently.

A celebration of birth to-day.  My Mele, as well as my other children continues to grow every single day.  Also, a celebration of a year end and also another year coming.  2011 will be the past, 2012 will be the present and the future.  Life is what you make it.  We need to be the best that we can be each and every day.  Make it count and serve, love others as we journey on.   

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year Resolution

2012 is just a few days away.   Looking back, the year 2011 seems to just whisk by like a breeze.  Sometimes a gentle breeze and then there were other times where it truly felt like a cyclone of hurricanes or tornadoes.  Brief but devastating and crippling.  Those are the cracks that we can trip over, fall through or camouflage ourselves into during this journey of life.  2011 marks an ending.  Ending of old habits and shedding of old skins.  It's time for  new beginnings and 2012 looks very promising.

This is the year of renewal.  Letting go of old habits and creating new ones.  I have already listed down most of the things I need to work on for this coming year.  They're not new resolutions.  They are old resolutions that subjugate new approaches.  When old methods are no longer effective, new ones are essential and inevitable if we want to succeed in life.

In Pres. Thomas S. Monson's article "Living the Abundant Life", (January. 2012 edition), he challenges everyone to "undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life-a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings."  He proceeds to offer his own "ABCs" to assist us:

I.  Positive Attitude"The greatest revolution of our generatoin is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." (William James) "So much in life depends on our attitude.  The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference.  To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment."  (Pres. Monson)

II. Believe in Yourself"Don't limit yourself and don't let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do.  Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.  You can achieve what you believe you can.  Trust and believe and have faith"

III.  Face challenges with Courage"Whatever you do, you need courage.  Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of actions and follow it to an end requures some of the same courage that a soldier needs.  Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them."  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

He also went on to say that, "courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one's coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve...Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow"."

I'm not anticipating a perfect year, but I'm anticipating a year of great success.  I'm equipping myself with a good attitude.  Armoring myself with courage and shielding away daggers of doubts with self beliefs.  I'm a woman, a mother and a wife and I deserve the best in life.  So bring on the new year 2012.  Some say it's the year the world will end, I say it's only the beginning of a new life... 

Christmas Day

My heart is still full from the Christmas celebration.  Celebrating with those who you love the most and missing those who weren't there.  My sister Ange and my brother Leli.  One in Hawaii, the other in Tonga.  Miss them so much.  It was a humble yet happy Christmas.  It didn't take much to make the children happy.  Patiola, indeed got two much needed pair of jeans.  One from me and one from her older sister Sil.  Mahonrai got a pair of long overdue shoes from me and a pack of socks from Sil.  And the three girls received a Beauty Box from Sil for them to all share.  All hair things as they lack those.

We also had a secret Santa later on that night.  Every thing that was exchanged between us were below $5.  The spirit of Christmas did not come from the presents this day.  It came from church and from spending time with our loved ones.  At 4pm, we had dinner and gift exchange at Leni's house with all her children and grandchildren.  So much love there.  Neits (my sister-in-law) had so many cute gifts for all the women and the children.  Then we headed back home to my family and my two brothers and sister with all their children came over to eat again and visit with our parents.  Both houses were full with excitement, laughter and love.

There were about 40 family members in each house.  Our Elder missionary Ortigoza and Blanc came by to visit.  It was so sweet,  then to top everything off, my son Eld. Toki called from Hawaii.  We all took forever talking to him.  He's coming home in August and he's not very thrilled about it.  Such a beautiful Christmas and it shows me how so very blessed I am. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

The house is full. "Jingle Bells" song brightens the kitchen as the kids are busily building their very first Gingerbread House.  Thanks to my sister-in-law, Neita, they are finally experiencing this.  If it was up to me, that would never happen.  As much as I strive to lift my spirit up to-day, my heart and mind are heavy with sadness and worry.  Don't know which burdens me more.  The sadness or the worry.  So I got on my knees this morning, and I uttered a fervent prayer for courage and strength.  Just to get through this day and not fall apart.  But as the day wears on my burdens grew heavier.

This morning we buried a newborn baby.   The mom, Priscilla, had her and she lived for 8 hours.  Don't remember the cause of death but I couldn't help crying when I saw the mom's face as they pour dirt into her child's grave.  Pain, grief and mourning.  In the same funeral, I found out one of my old childhood friend is fighting for her life as she have just been diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer.  Then later on this evening, after a few stops to pick up some last minute gifts, I was informed that my niece Rosie's baby, died last night in his sleep.  I couldn't help crying.  Another child's life and more on the line to come and just last week we attended my husband's nephew's funeral in California who had died in a car accident.

Then I think about my own circumstances, how it's nothing compare to what others are going through this Christmas season and I feel selfish and unappreciative of the things that I have.  That here, right this very moment, is life.  Live and let live.  That even with the hardship and hard times, I'm still healthy, my children are alive and healthy and that life is a gift so I should  live it well.  Worries be banned.  Trust in the Lord and remember when one door closes, another door opens.  There's always hope as long as we live and breath.

So tomorrow is Christmas day.  I won't focus on the negatives and what I don't have.  I will focus on the Gift, my Savior Jesus Christ and how he was born this day providing hope and good tidings to all of mankind.  How Mary must have felt knowing her son will be born in a manger, together with the animals, yet he is the King of all Kings.  Born in the lowest of lowliness.  So humble and mild.  I should be so humble.  So this Christmas Eve, let me get over myself and prepare myself to celebrate His birth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Spirit

"I hate Christmas", he admitted sarcastically.  "People call me the Grinch because I do hate it.  I can't wait 'til it's over!"  This is coming from my brother-in-law with seven children.  Chuckling as he said it, so I know he doesn't really hate Christmas.  He just hates all the spending that goes with it.

Seated in the back I overheard my sweet sister-in-law, Neits gentling, "This is a time of giving.  I just want to make sure we have something to give to everyone."  Neits is one of many people I know that has the biggest heart beating in her chest.  Very giving, kind and loving, yet righteously firm.  My children adores her and I trust her with them, God forbid, should anything happens to me.

I love Christmas.  As a little girl growing up in the island of Tonga, Christmas was focused on celebrating, glorifying and honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.  The gifts we bore to one another was food and door to door caroling.  There were no toys, clothes, money or anything such things.  Only the best food on the island. I was a runner every Christmas.   Delivering food to every door of all our beloved neighbors and receiving food brought by them.

Christmas tree was a gigantic mango branch.  Cut down and decorated with big white balloons.  It was speared deep into the ground of our grassy front yard.  I watched through our window with the enthrallment and fascination of a child, as the wind rustled the leaves and balloons back and forth.  So beautiful and glorious.  I just stared and stared at it. 

I only saw Santa Claus once.  In shock I gaped with my eyes and mouth wide open.  Oh, I've heard about Santa Claus alright, but I didn't know he comes to Tonga.  He was pinning bags of candies to people's doors.  To this day, not once did I spurt a word of it to anyone.  Come to think of it, I think it was one of the white teachers that teaches in the High School across the street.  In a full red suit and white beard.  He actually winked at me. 

As for singing, as soon as the sun goes down, lamps were lit and glitter in the night, while the moon and stars light our paths as we travel from house to house caroling.  The thrills of the Christmas spirit rooted deep within my heart as I developed a childlike love for the babe and Savior Jesus Christ.  So I sang my lungs out, until my voice cracked and then sauntered home as I could barely hold my eyelids open.   The sounds of voices, banjos, guitars and harmonica fades away as I drifted off to sleep.  Exhausted and overwhelmed by all the joy and love I feel during every Christmas season.  I still remember everything as if it was just yesterday.
 
As an adult and a mother, I somehow began to loose focus on what Christmas is all about.  Beginning with my two oldest sons and daughter.  I wanted to give them the world.  Buy the most expensive toys and not just one but many.  Piling up the Christmas tree with gifts that we really could not afford, as I gradually began to forget about the true meaning of Christmas.   It took several Christmases and a lack of money, to realize this.  Also, watching my children loose focus too as they centered themselves in receiving and getting, instead of giving and sharing.

So I took a step back deciding that enough is enough.  My children needed to learn that Christmas is not all about receiving and getting.  It's not all about them.  It's about a baby, born to this earth, bearing a much grander gift then material things.  A Redeemer and a Savior of mankind.  He is the GIFT.  God's gift to mankind.  That through a life live for others, serving others and giving to others, only then can we truly feel the true meaning and joy of Christmas. 

No more frantic searching for expensive toys that can break the day after, littering our living room floor. Short lived and void of meaning.  No more endless hours shopping for things they don't need.  One thing is enough.  A pair of boots for the winter snows.  A pair of jeans to replace the torn ones.  A warm jacket to last through two to three winters and perhaps some socks and gloves to go with it.  It wasn't easy but we adjusted and the children got use to it.  They may not all get what they want, but they will get what they need.

May the joy and warmth of the Christmas spirit be felt not only in our hearts but in our homes.  And may it last all year long until the next Christmas as we celebrate again and again.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Officially a Zit Popper

Totally swallowed up digesting a new blog I found through my blogging friend Kristi from "Breathe...Shine...Love...".  Her name is Michelle from "Graceful" and it was her: "My Winding Road to Faith" post that got me MESMERIZED with a capital M!  About how she stole a choker when she was in third grade and out of self-reproach, chose to wear her scapular (first time I've ever learned of such thing) that bore the inscription, "Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire."


As my attention was thoroughly riveted in Michelle's post, I hear this soft, genteel voice asking:  "Mom, could you pop my zit?"  Like a perfect record, ruined and scratched, I slowly turned to her.  Slightly annoyed that she interrupted this intense reading session.  My, not so genteel daughter, Patiola stood before me with a gigantic zit right between her eyes, beckoning me to POP it.  Instantly it dawns on me that not only I am a mother, a cook, laundress, hairdresser, babysitter, handy-woman and comforter, I can add zit popper to my magnificent role in motherhood. 

My mind briefly recalled the amount of times my children has come to me to POP their zits.  Starting from the eldest Leveni, down to number six  Mele.  The youngest, Beverly,  hasn't yet to get to that stage but I'm sure when she does, she will come to mom, The Zit Popper for that.  No one else will do it for them of course because only a mother can stomach being her own children's zit popper.  Who else can do it for them?  DaD?  I don't think so. 

Well, I have become proficient in targeting and extracting those zits.  My aim is deadly accurate and so with that, I proudly and officially declare myself as:  The Zit Popper.  Only for my children though.  Just one more addition to my many roles of being a mother. 

Just another day in Paradise. 

Christmas CD for Eld. Toki

My son Eld. Toki keeps asking for a CD from us and my daughter Sisilia thought it would be a good idea to put together a family CD so we can send it to him for Christmas.  Each girl gets to pick a song that she would want to sing and then have my oldest son, Leveni record it in his home studio.  Beverly chose this one, "When Christmas comes to Town."

At first I thought she would be too nervous to record as this was her very first recording experience, but she actually surprised me.  It two only two takes to record her song and then the beginning part of the "La la la.."  was a separate take itself.  She was very much comfortable and confident.  Toward the end of her song, though there was a little stutter but Leveni thought it would cute to leave it like that.  All and all we only manage to record 2 songs.  "The Chirstmas Song" by Sil and this one by Bev.  The rest we couldn't find the Karaoke for it.  This coming Tuesday though is when we will finish the rest of the other songs by the girls and then send it with his Christmas box on Wednesday.

Last night Patiola and Mahonrai sang at the Stake Youth Fireside Christmas program.  As they were about to come on stage to sing, this guy moved the microphone and it fell to the ground.  The orchestra had already started the music so by the time they had the microphone fixed, they were already half way done with the song.  It was pretty frustrating watching this but they were asked to do it again and they did.  I think that because it was a disaster the first time, they both lost their composure so they didn't sing out as they should have.  These kids need to learn that as performers, you have to be pretty much shameless and grow a new backbone made of steel.  That way if they make mistakes, they'll perfect it the second time around.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

About his Christmas Song


"What the heck?"  Was my very first reaction to his new Christmas song.  S T R A N G E!!! I don't know if I would categorize this as a Christmas song.  I thought to myself.  The beat, the style is not my typical Christmas music.  I don't even know if people are going to like it. 

But then if you know my son, then you'd understand how he does his music.  He has his own style and he's determine to stay true to that style.  IT'S HIS WAY OR NO WAY AT ALL. 

And if you don't know about the West side, then you won't understand the depth of loyalty and love he has for the place.  Moved from California, we rooted ourselves there.   Where all our children had their names, footprints and hands,  engraved on the driveway of our old house.  That's where he grew from boy to man.  Where money was hard to come by but love came in abundance.  From his huge families and his get rich or die trying friends.  And always, grounded with the love of God, Jesus Christ and the Gospel.  

So I played and played until his song grows on me.  It's funny, witty and heart warming.  A different kind of Christmas song.  A West side Christmas song more like it.  Makes me smile 'cause this son loves to eat lu and turkey.  He loves his family and his wife like crazy.  So let me end with a quote from his younger brother in his letter home.  "Me coming home early from my mission, is like Leveni trying to loose weight.  It ain't never gonna happen."  (Leveni) is the name my son Sione goes by.  So as for that "new year resolution", I just don't know if I should believe my missionary or my singer.  Of course I'm only their #1 fan for life so I'll just have to wait and see. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.  Let's let bygones be bygones and let's enjoy Christmas and this song.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All on Facebook

News travel at the speed of lightning when it comes to Facebook.  There's no easing anything in.
It's BADA BING BADA BANG BADA BOOM  and you're in for it.  You pop in for just a peek and before you know it, your mouth drops, your heart shatters and your eyeballs widened with disbelief.  News travel far and across with just a click of a mouse.  Tragedy and non-tragedy in extremities.

The other day, I popped in to catch up with the rest of the world.  Simply, because, I do get all the latest updates on Facebook, accurate or not.  Shocked to find out about Vena Finau.   A few days after, I logged in again and WHAM!  Another shocker, I found out about the death of my husband's nephew Talai.  "R.I.P Talai Livai".

Briskly I rolled the mouse and glimpsed at a couple of RIPs for Talai and immediately logged out.  Shook my head and assured myself that they're talking about uncle Talai.  My mother-in-law's brother.  But didn't uncle Talai died eons ago?  I thought sadly.  He did live in Tonga and must be a hundred years old so it's his time to go.  Not the young and vivacious Talai!   

That same evening my husband validated the FB statuses.  Young Talaiasi Livai died from a car crash.   After spearing me with an:  "Are you becoming senile woman" look as he mumbled vexingly,  "My uncle Talai died 10 years ago".  I realized how in denial I had been.  My heart broke for this young man and the abrupt way his life had ended.  Ache for his mother, Fatai, and what she must be going through trying to deal with this ordeal.  The death of her child.  So fresh, devastating and sad.  A grief, that I, can only imagine.

I love what Facebook does in ways of communications and delegations.  In sensitive cases, it would be nice to hear about it instead of reading about it. Not that there's too much difference, yet, it's that much of a difference that can soften the blows.  R.I.P Talaiasi Livai.  Until we meet again.  R.I.P Vena Finau. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm blogging here!

It's absolutely annoying when a marvelous idea hits home and you want to blog about it immediately, just to come across some brackish obstacles hindering your attempt.  Typical ones such as these:

"Mom I'm hungry", one yells
"Feed me woman", someone else demands
"Mom what is more important, your facebook or me?"  another one remarks. 
"I am not on Facebook.  I am blogging." I yelled back
"What's blogging mom?"
"It's just something I'm doing on the computer." 
"Don't lie mom, you're on FB aren't you.  You're a camper?"
Sighing
Then how about my 21 year old daughter Sisilia:  "Can anyone hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?  I  a m  h u n g a r y!" 

If it's not feeding hour, its help locate something hour, take me somewhere hour or help put my husband's socks on or scratch his head.   

All the terrific ideas that I was going to blog about flies out the window.  
Just like I can't have time for a decent blog, trot or crock without someone needing my service, my attention or calling out my name.

Mom, Mom, mother, mom, mom, mommy, momma........

And we've just got done with breakfast!  Hello!  I'm blogging here.  It's my time to blog people.  You all have two hands, please go and grab something for yourselves to eat again.  I'm not a house maid to wait on everyone every moment of the damn day.

So I'm always having a devil of time trying to siege some decent blogging times without my brains scattering in the air because a piece of me is needed somewhere else.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Casualties of LIfe

Like casualties of war, there's a joyous elation in surviving and living.  Then, on the flip side, there's the bereavement and grief of loosing a life to death.  But even with the tragedies and casualties of life, we manage to live on and press forward.  Ever hopeful and ever auspiciously optimistic.  To be anything less, would be like submission to defeat and then where would we all be?

This past week, with the magnanimous festivity of Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to the Almighty God.  For bounteous blessings of this land and this life and the awesomeness of it all.  To breath, exist and just being alive is a miraculous wonderment in itself.   That you are you and I am me.   That together, we all play a significant role in this circle of life.  Makes me wonder sometimes, how life would be, had I been born someone else entirely.  Do you wonder too?  If a different soul was wearing my skin and my face? 

This past week, a dear friend of the family died in a car crash.  She was a childhood friend of my husband.  It's a sad loss indeed, for she was a sweet, amazing mother, sister and woman.  This past week also, a surprise came inside a check-book box, of an image of an ultrasound of a baby in the womb.  My nephew and his wife are expecting their first.  One making an exit and one in the process of entering life.  A loss and a gain.  Life in reciprocity.  Tears of sadness and bubbles of laughter.  All on Thanksgiving week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why I Blog

After hearing a very good friend of mine remark that she's been following my blog,  I started to ponder again on the many reasons why I decided to join the blogging world.  Having always been a very private person with a relentless passion for writing, this was an irresistible way for me to hone and sharpen my writing skills.  Not that I didn't love writing things down with a pen on a paper, the thrill of pounding away on a keyboard was tremendously satisfying that it sealed my indecisive mind into an outright pouring and sharing of thoughts and feelings into a blog.

Much so, that there's no desire to return to simply writing things down with a pen and paper.  However, no way am I giving up writing over to blogging.  The primitive method of mating a pen and a paper will forever be the ultimate method of journaling, diarying and keeping notes.  Blogging, let's say, is the new kid in town.  So exciting, thrilling and intriguing that it's undeniable.  Apart from striving to improve my writing, I'm finding that there's so many other reasons behind my desire to blog.

*  It's a convenient outlet to let it all spill out.   Very therapeutic.  Does a lot of good for my sanity.

*  I like sharing my fears, anger, doubts, dreams and visions with others.

*  My children are extremely musically talented that I wanted a way to publicize those talents.  

*  Through blogging I've met so many wonderful people that I'd never have met, had I not blogged.  

*  Extremely enlightening and highly educational.  I'm learning a lot of things from other bloggers.

* Why not blog?  I'm always one to try new things and so far I love it.

This year commences my love affair with blogging.    There's still so much to learn about this blogging business but I'm gradually getting the hang of it.  With time, the possibilities are endless and outrageous.  It's a whole different world out here in cyberspace and I might as well create a niche in it.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Psychotic

No, I'm not psychotic but my relationship with food is.  Psychotic, Neurotic and Hypnotic.  I've lost track of how many times I embark on dieting.  But it always ends up the same.  A loosing battle.  I'm confused whether it's a mind thing or a stomach and mouth thing.  Being the two against the one. 

Mind:  "Don't forget we're on a diet people!"
Stomach and mouth:  "What!  Again... Nooooo.  We're not dieting. Uh Uh.  We refuse to diet.  WE WANT FOOD, WE WANT FOOD, WE WANT FOOD."  (Yes they chant)
Mind"Fine, we'll grab some to-die-for vegetables or fruits. Think skinny won't you.  Lawd knows we need it all around here, here and here" (Pointing to the butt, stomach and um the all over the body)
Stomach and mouth:   "Oh but we're hungry for real food.  You know... our usual.  Oreos, Chocolate Chip Cookies, uuuhhhh some chewy double chocolate fudge brownies.  Oh oh and how about a big juicy, mouth-drooling burgers...  What do ya say?  Can we, could we, ought we?  Pretty please!"
Mind: "Fine then!  You guys talked me into it.  But only a little bit.  OK.  A little taste that's all."

(Like Eve tempting Adam with the apple)  


And then all hell break loose.

Mind:  Well, one of these days, I really have to run it off.  Really! How about Zumba, Insanity and Mountain climbing.  Right......(and I'm singing in the rain)  

I know, I know,  I'm terribly weak.  Oh so weak.  But if I don't get my daily overdose of Oreos I can get Psychotic.  A raving lunatic.  Yes, my children and my hubby won't like me at all.  So for world peace and home peace, I have to have my Oreos thank you very much.   



               

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perfect Timing

Could a minute too soon change a whole destiny?
How about a second too late?
If we could have done anything differently, would that it matter?
Is our fate or destination set?  Carved in stone?  


There have been many times where I've wished I was a second late or a minute early.  Have missed many opportunities and then live to realize I was better off missing them.  The above dilemmas was written while watching 127 Hours at the beginning of this year, on the plane during our flight to Hawaii.  It's the story of Aron Reister.

This rock... this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It's entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. In space. It's been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I've been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I've taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface. 


It's hard to believe that a few seconds in time can create a significant or a dreadful difference in our destinies. 

A traffic ticket could have been avoided, had we weren't running late and had to rush. 
An accident would have been avoided had we went straight to our destination instead of stopping at 7-11.
An early detection of cancer could have saved her life, had she gone in for an early examination.
Had he gotten on that plane, he'd be killed on that crash.

Is timing everything?  Does every tick of the clock count?   No, I don't believe our destinies are carved in stone.  However, I do believe that timing whether perfect, late or early can make a world of a difference in each of our different destinies.  .

Friday, November 11, 2011

Diaper changing and Sleepwalkers

In horror I tried to see the end coming.  I calculated that since I've been changing diapers for 365 days of his first year I'd have 730 days more to go before he's comfortably out of diapers.  Some babies refuse to be potty trained at 2 not to mention some goes on the 10.  And it's not just one diaper per day, uh uh, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it between 7-8 times a day or more if they have the RUNS?  I shivered.

But another one came and another came and I realize I'm in knee deep, probably, up to my nose deep in s***!!  Holy horse manure, with 7 babies and about 2 to 3 years each in diapers, I was felt like crying.  But they were so adorable and cute that I didn't mind it, even though at times, it was so vile and foul I felt like throwing a tantrum!  At least have the decency to produce pleasant smelling turd.  These kids better be good to me when I'm old.

Am I being punished for having too much fun?  ( And I won't go into detail in that area if you get my drift).  Really,  I didn't see the end coming.  But I sucked it up, like everyone loving mom, smile and remembered that  diaper changing is suppose to be a bonding moment of coooing, awwhing, oh you're so adorable baby, mommy loves you baby, unless they decide to squirt in your hands or face, which always happens with newborn babies. 

Now, my youngest in 10 years old and yes, hip hip hooray, we're over the diaper changing stages.  Have been for many years now and I definitely don't miss it.  However, Bev refuses to sleep in her own room.  If she does,  she pretends she sleepwalks into our in the middle of the night, or she just sneaks in and make her bed on the floor by my side of the bed.  As you can imagine, I have a very pissed off and unhappy husband.  I blame myself in this.  I think I nursed her too long that she got permanently attached to my chest.  Four years of nursing her and it's a wonder my womanly instruments still exists at all. 

But I remember when my two oldest sons were toddlers and I was pregnant with our third.  Boy we did a lot of night traveling.  We lived in a two room apartment back then and they'd invade our room every single night.  Their blankets in their little hands, they'd crawled into our beds and we're all squashed in.  Having a gigantic belly did not sit well.  Then my husband and I decided we'll go to their room since they share a double bed.  Well, after a while, they're looking for us in their room.  WE come back and forth and it went on all night.  It reminded me of the Pioneer song:  "Here comes the oxcart oh how slow.  It's pulled by an ox of course you know...."  By morning,  we look like drunken oxes who's been out all night partying.

To-day, I look back and smile.  We still have a problem with Beverly but in time it'll stop.  I don't give a fig if my husband minds.  I'm not going anywhere.  When they're gone I'll still be around.  Then he'll have me all to himself.  But the silky voices of country hunks Lonestar always come to mind:

"So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little"


Before I didn't see the end coming  Well it has come and gone and some are grown and gone.  Yet the memories linger on.  Was it so bad?  Those diaper days and sleepwalking nights, I say not at all.  It was all so worth it.  But I won't want to do it all over again.  HE HE HE HELLL NOOO!
 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Where's my anti-aging cream people?

Frantic is the the word to use when I have to search for my anti-aging face cream.  Lately, I refuse to buy cosmetics because with 4 daughters and a puppy, they all end up taking over my make-up.  The puppy wears the lipstick.  But the worse, the worse part is when they dip into my precious "no brand" anti aging cream.  I have to practically holler in distraught due to the fact that they do not need anti-aging anything.  My body may be 50 but I'd like my face to be 35 at least.  I'd like to fool my grandchildren, if they'll ever arrive in this world, that grandma still look like a grandma instead of the great ancient grandma.  I can't afford to go a day without it. 

But every morning it seems to have its own two feet.   And if I hide it, my ears will fall off with screeches of questions:
"Mom, where's your face cream?  I need it."
Annoyed I'd ask, "Can't you guys just use regular lotion?"
 "No mom, yours works better and feels better on our skin"
"You guys don't need it, you don't have wrinkles.  Plus that's a $20 face cream."  I quiver just thinking about the price. It's $5 less then the brand-name ones but I'm cheap and frugal simply because, well,  we're always broke.  That cream is suppose to last me 3 months.  Normally, it's only suppose to last a month but I use it SPARINGLY!  Now I have to share it with my children who shouldn't even worry about wrinkles for about 30 more years.  Let alone my son Mahonrai uses it when it's easily access to him. 

Anti-aging creams are suppose to be a womans weapon to fight against aging.  Yes, some of us are threatened by aging and imagine ourselves going into battle against it.  No, we refuse to "GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT", as the great poet Mr. Thomas puts it.  Of course he was referring to death but in this case, I refer it to aging.  It's the death of us.  We women like to look good for the rest of our good-looking lives.  So these anti-aging creams can do the tricks and fight till the end to defeat if not prolong our skin from deteriorating and folding in on us.  They:  ILLUMINATE, ELASTICATE, SHIELD, HYDRATE, EXFOLIATE, SMOOTH, SHINE, FIRM and DIMINISH HYPERPIGMENTATION whatever that means.  But if you're not broke like me, then you can always afford to have PLASTIC SURGERY, SHOTS OF BOTOX AND LYPO-something.

I love my anti-aging creams.  It's a wonder that my face should be smooth and soft like a baby's bottom and light up like a fluorescent lightbulb!   So fantastic the things it can do and now if only I can get my kids hands off of 'em. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Clone Me Please!

I'd have made one hell-u-va race car driver.  Yesterday was one of those days where I literally spend inside a car.  Whisking my people here and there, sudden stops, drop off and pick up.  From work and school.  Running errands.  Unloading and loading shopping.  Until after 6pm just to rush home and start dinner.  Heaven forbid anyone  else can start dinner.  Hubby was sick and the younger children complained of food deprivation as if there wasn't a refrigerator loaded with food they can munch from to carry them over until dinner's ready. 

Took about half hour to cook a dinner that was gobbled up in less then 10 minutes.  Gathered the children for a quick family home evening to say grace and get a dose of scriptures just to end up with another half hour scowling them for misbehaving during prayer.  I shudder to think I've failed in teaching them to be respectful and reverent during prayers.  One eye open, one hand reaching knocking over the candle holder, another slouching at the corner and one with both eyes wide open just staring at nothing.  A bolt of lightning might just blaze down from the Heavens and strike our house down.   Then where would we be?

Goodnight kisses, hugs and I'm at my computer getting ready to log in at 10pm. to work.  My youngest Beverly has the chills.  "Mom I'm cold."  During our family home evening, I had given her an Excederin for she was complaining of headache and body ache.  My children, being big for their age, hardly ever take childrens medicine.  They take adult medicine but not at adult dosage as soon as they're able to swallow a round size ibuprofen.

I couldn't keep her from shaking and feared she was going into a seizure.  Got my dad to administer to her just to hear my husband from the living demanding to have my dad administer to him too.  Freak!   I'm thinking.  You're on your own buddy.  I've never had any experience with seizures before.  I had my youngest son carry her into the living room couch and did what I've only done once before, when my oldest son broke a femur, I called the Paramedics.  My husband looked at me as if I'm nuts for calling the paramedics.  "Well, can't you see, she can't stop shaking."  He stressed, "She is fine!"  I shrieked, "She might be going into a seizure!"  He glared then said, "She doesn't have the symptoms of a person going into seizure".  I'm thinking: When did he become an expert in seizures.  

Then my think-she-knows-it-all daughter Sil came up.  Felt her sister's forehead,  "Mom what kind of medicine did you give her?"   Irritated that she should question my ability as a nurse (I might as well be one) I said, "I gave her an Excederin for she was complaining of headache.. " and  I didn't finish my sentence, her voice raised "Did you give her adult dose Excederin because you always do that mom".  When in the blooming hell did she know more then me, I wondered.  They survived infancy, youth and adulthood through my nursing skills.  I shout, "stop yelling at me!"

Bev keeps gazing at the door impatient for the paramedics to come and whisk her away.   I yelled at my son Mahonrai to wait for the paramedics outside.  He's walking around already asking, "Mom can I miss school tomorrow because Beverly is sick?"  Is that all he cares about?  His sister is dying and he all he think about is ditching school.  We should be hearing the siren but for the life of me it takes them eternity to get here.  Through the back window I saw the Paramedics without the siren on.  I guess they sense it wasn't a matter of life and death but what if it was?

The paramedic leader, strolled in.  Take one look at her.  Shove something in one ear and another up her fingers.  After a few seconds he explains, "She has a fever of 102.  That explains the chills."  
I looked at him questioning, "Isn't she going into seizure?" 
He replied, "No ma'am.  Her body is just reacting to the fever.  Just give her some Tylenol or Advil unless of course you want us to take her to the hospital.  Or you can always take her yourself." 
Can the floor just swallow me up
"Are you sure she's not going into seizure?"  Instantly relieved.
He goes on gesturing his arms,  "Ma'am, if this was a seizure, her hands and her body would be tightening up...curling into a ..."  and I didn't want to hear anymore because obviously I've just been moded for the first time in the area of mother-nurse.

As the paramedics took their leave, my great aunt Peta, limped into the hallway inquiring; "Where's the paramedic?"  I looked at her and said, "They've left".  She raised her voice:  "Why didn't you tell them to come and take me to the hospital!  I'm sick!"  Holy Crap!!!  She didn't look like she was about to roll over and die. 

And the night ended quietly with everyone drifting off to a Heavenly sleep while I logged in and work until 2am. Then I crawled like the Grudge, exhausted, into our crowded bed as a sick husband and a sick child sandwiched me in without a pillow!!  and the rest of the house in chaos awaits me bright and early this morning.   It's days like these where it'll really make me shrill in pleasure if there were two of me.  Can I be cloned?  Just for one day so I can catch up with everything....Clone me please!  A helping hand would do nicely.

Friday, November 4, 2011

WRITING

I can't comprehend anyone, child, teenager and adult who would not keep  a journal, diary, a book of rememberance.  I'd be lost without a pen and a paper.  Totally lost if I can't write down my thoughts, feelings and opinions.  To not have any outlet to unleash, share, express and direct my feelings, I'd simply shrink and disappear into nothingness.  Vanish into a silent world where I have no voice and no one can hear me.  

Writing defines me.  What I write about.  What my feelings are.  How I feel towards others and things.  It's almost like a lifeline.  Where, if I'm sinking in despair and swallowed up in darkness, the moment I jot those feelings down on paper, I begin to emerge, lighten by every stroke of my pen, freed by every worded ink that stains that paper, until I'm weightless like a feather and instead of sinking, I'm floating on the surface and can breathe easily again.    This is why I write.

Everywhere I go, I always make sure I have a pen and a paper just in case I need to write somethig down.  I get inspirations all the time from both likely and unlikely places.   In the Shopping Center, a movie theatre, While I'm driving down the street, when my children are talking to me, at work.  Everywhere.  That's why I'm never without a pen and a paper. 

In addition to writing, it's reading.  I never, ever leave home without a book.   My children reads.  However, they don't have a passion for writing such as I do.  Perhaps one day, they'll acquire a love for writing.  I only hope it's sooner instead of later. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

What she doesn't know...

Her beloved sister Mele Tupou, passed away March last year.  To this day, I haven't got the heart to tell her that her sister died.  Because of her condition, I fear that any such tragic news, will no better then just push her over to her grave prematurely.   This morning we discovered that my three brothers are out there in San Francisco.  They are delivering stuff for my dear cousin Toli (Mele's only daughter).   When my mother overheard us chatting about San Francisco, her eyes lit up.  She knows that whenever someone goes to Frisco and returns, she can expect a suitcase full of goodies from her sister Mele.

My father and I looked at each others.  Tears threatens my eyes and my heart squeezed with love for my mother and for her long gone sister.  Am I doing the right thing?  At the funeral last year, we all agreed that it was best not to let her know about Mele's death.   And, if we do decide to tell her, I would be the one to do it.  I came home from the funeral contemplating numerous way I could tell her and when would be the best time to do it.  But, ALAS, when the time comes, my mouth zips up and I just couldn't bring myself to say the words to her. 

I thought time would make me stronger.  That with time I can gather the courage to say the words.  "Mami, 'oku ke 'ilo'i koaa kuo 'osi si'i mate 'a Mele Tupou."  "Mom your sister passed on" or "Mom your sister died last year but we couldn't tell you."  I still can not do it.  I don't know when I would be able to either.  She still doesn't know her sister died last March.   The sad part to all this is that, I don't know when I'll ever be able to say the words to her.  

Mom's cancer has rejected the old Famara.   For three years it seems to be doing just fine.  Now, the tumor's resisting and they are trying a new medication called "Tamoxifen".  Hopefully this will help.  Chemo is out of the question because her body is just not strong enough.  I'm just trying to do the best I can to help them but guilty to say that I still don't feel I'm doing nearly enough for them. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

DREAMERS

"Dreamers are scary people", the Radio host informed, "Some dreams and then some chase down their dreams and beat it mercilessly to the ground."   I listened and mockingly nudged myself as I am one of those who dreams.  Not that I'm doing any wild chasing to hustle my dreams down to the ground.  It's always:
 
One day I'll get to it.
Someday maybe
I'll start next week
So glad there's always tomorrow
If only I had the time
Any day now I'll finish that book.  The one that's already finished but needed polishing.  It's been sitting for more then a year now.
Oh there's always time
I'll do it later
Not to-day it's too busy
Uh uh writers block!


Then he went on to clarify an already proven and ancient point,  "Dreams are so fuzzy.  It may or it may not happen.  Until you set goals, write it down and give yourself a time-frame.  It'll never happen."  And thus the story of my life.   Why not write down my goals?  Because I've already doomed myself to fail.  I am my worse enemy.  Hesitate and reluctant to write down my goals because I don't have the discipline to go through with them.   Last year's resolutions list is tucked away at my kitchen drawer.  Every time I happen to see it, I scold myself all over again.  Nothing has been accomplished. 

But don't let anyone else tell me that "I CAN'T".   That enrages me.  Empowers the dreamer in me.  "WHO SAYS I CAN'T!"    So I'm writing them down.   Getting back on the bandwagon of setting goals and I'm not waiting until this coming new year to do that.  I'm starting to-day.  Thank you very much Mr. Radio Host.  You've just made me the Dream Catcher.   

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Mahonrai

My football son Mahonrai appeared confused last night when I asked him to take out the trash.
"What?  Is tomorrow Wednesday already?"
I assured him, "Yup, tomorrow is Wednesday and trash day".
His mouth widened in a big smile as he grinned  and said something about how time flies.   Yes, time sure flies by.  This boy towers over me and he is only 15.  And he can't seem to stop bragging about himself.
"My coach told me yesterday that I've got the perfect arms and the perfect calves."
His dad and I looked at each others and burst out laughing.  We both know once he starts, he won't stop.
"I just need to work on the rest of my upper body now."

But I love this youngest son of mine.  He has a passion for football that can light up the sky.   That and Rugby.
As for his arms and calves, I won't deny it.  He is build for the sport and his got the biggest calves in his whole football team.  He is perfectly build,  if I may say so myself.   He's got it easy though.  As the youngest and growing up in a time my husband has retired for his concrete work, he hardly does any hard labor like his two oldest brothers, whom, at a very young age, started hard, hard labor of cement work when they were 12.

I picked his name when I was teaching Seminary and extremely heavy with pregnancy.   "MAHONRAI  is a valiant prophet in the book of Mormon.  The brother of JARED.   The fact that he was favored by God and everything he asked was given to him, because he would never have asked anything contrary to the will of God.  His middle name "TEANCUM", is a war hero and righteous man in the Book of Mormon too.   I love the names for they were heroes and were valiant, courageous and God fearing.

In honor of our parents, families and culture, we named our children after their grandparents or aunts or uncles.  We divided naming the children between my husband and I.  Four are named after his side of the family, (Leveni, Sisilia and Mele Vasiti and Beverly.  Two are named after my family (Petueli and Patiola).  Mahonrai is the only name that we both agreed on that didn't have to be after one or the other.
MAHONRAI TEANCUM TOKI. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Manic Monday

I stood there while he vents, unleash and pours his heart out at me.  I understand his need to spill it all out.  After all, he is the one that single-handily takes care of my mother.   They live with me.  I cook all their meals everyday, do laundry, clean their room, take out the garbage and keep them company, but he, does everything else for my bedridden mother.  He's entitled to, once in a while, vent and let it all out.   His frustration is directed towards my 3 brothers and sister, who seldom, ever comes and visit, nor assist with anything else. 

Our culture, as Tongans, is different then any other culture.  We, as children, are obligated to take care of our parents and honor them until they pass on.   That's why is very rare that any Polynesian out there, ever, resolve to putting their elderly in rest homes or nursing homes.   We take care of our elderly no matter what condition they are in.   My father reprimanded me for not opening my mouth, as the eldest of the children and take responsibility in reminding my siblings that they still have a duty to perform while our mother is still alive.  I stood there and listened and absorbed everything he says.  I have always been one to never shrivel from any responsibility in my own family, refusing to overstep my boundary to that of my siblings.  But in this matter, he is right.   They need to be reminded that our mother is not yet dead.  That while she's alive, they still have obligations to fulfill. 

I love my father.  He was a great father.  Loving and completely devoted to us children.  As also my mother.   These unfortunate circumstances with their health grieves me because, my parents worked, labored and gave everything they had to provide a good life for us children.   Now, in this time of their needs, my siblings are hardly ever around and I'm guilty of not doing enough.   I'm so grateful to still have them around.  Grateful that I have a chance to show them how much I appreciate and love them.  I hope my brothers and sisters will eventually realize how blessed they are to still have parents that are still alive.  

Now the other Monday things include a sick Mele Vasiti being picked up from school.  Broken dryer.  Trunk-a-treat tonight that we have to make curry for.   New bills to be paid.  Frustration that Sisilia is still not getting it with the male-female relationship.   Antibiotics for Aunt Peta.  Cleaning the house.  Stack of dishes in the sink.  Yadda yadda yadda and it's only Monday for crying out loud.   Just another Manic Monday.   

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Through With It"

My oldest son Leveni (we call him by his middle name) is a brilliant musician.  He writes and composes his own music.  On "youtube" he goes by Sione Toki.  Named after his father.  But he finally post up his second song on youtube and it's called "Through with it".   I love it and I am his #1 fan for life.

This is one of the many reasons why I decided to put up a blog.  Actually I didn't put it up myself for I have no clue how, but my cousin Mahana put it up for me.  She's a computer Wiz.  It wasn't all for me.  It was also for sharing my children's talents with the world.  Yes, awkward it must seem, but I am their greatest fan.  All of them sings.  They hardly sing together for they all have different kind of music they want to sing.


Sometimes when I try to have them sing together, it's almost like trying to make peace between Israel and Palestine.  Impossible.   So I let them sing on their own and in their own genre of music.  One likes Country, the other R&B, Rock and Pop.   We all love music and if you visit our house, it's the noisiest one on the block.   They all sing at the same time whether they're in the shower, in the kitchen, downstairs in their rooms or eating in the kitchen.  It baffles me to know which mouth sings and which mouth eats and talks all at the same time.     Sometimes I long for earplugs.  Just to slam my ears shut when all the music is going on in the house.   The only times its quiet is when they're asleep or when they're not home.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lost Purse

Unaccustomed to seeing her fall apart, I nearly panicked.  And I never panic.  I've yet to witness my daughter loose all control of her senses and resolve to weeping.  Shoulders quivering and head shaking.  She has always been one determine to remain strong,  immovable and unaffected by anything.  To see her crumble and breakdown to crying like a baby stirred the motherly protectiveness in me wanting to make everything alright for her.

Words got to me while I was serenely occupying my obnoxious "Fahu" roll during my niece 'Ana Seini's wedding.   At first I didn't think anything of it.   But towards the back of the Gym I saw her walking back and forth.  Shoulders hunching with her head down.  Numerous times.  I decided to go to her.  In the bathroom her eyes were red and smeared in mascara.   She was devastated.  "Mom, someone took my purse.  It had all my rent money in it".  Feeling so sad for her, I inquired, "How much honey?"  "All my pay check mom.  $600 and it was the money I was going to give dad to help with our rent.  I worked for that money mom."  I hugged her to me and said, "Sisilia it's ok.  We'll manage.  We always have.  Let it go".  She released me and put both hands to her face and just wept bitter tears.

 I stood there feeling confused for I've never witnessed her in this sort of predicament.    To let down her guard and pride and resolve to weeping.   Worried I reached out and stroke her back and kissed her head.   "Everything will be fine honey.  You'll learn this life is full of disappointments but everything will work out."  We looked everywhere in the bathroom, locker room, asked everyone but no one has seen it.   My heart was heavy for her.   But I wanted her to know how to deal with disappointments and failure.  This girl hates failure.  She refuses to submit herself to anything that might label her a failure.   The reason for that can make a book in itself and I'm writing a book on her.   

Eventually, the evening ended in the most joyful note.  A female janitor, whom she repeatedly asked before, was carrying her purse outside towards the parking lot.  There was a phone in the purse that for some reason, Sisilia was prompted to call.  (Her little cousin Weezy's phone)  From the outside of the building and through the glass door, she saw lights blinking.  Instantly she knew it was the phone that was inside her purse. She ran inside to intercept whoever was carrying the bag just to discover it was that same janitor she had asked numerous times before if she saw her purse.   Whether or not the janitor was lying we'd never know.  But we ended up dancing and going crazy on the dance floor with her.  That beautiful laughter and smile was back in her eyes and it felt good to see her happy once again.  As mothers, what we desire most from our children is that they are truly, blessedly happy in their lives.   And to be able to cope with life's challenges, trials and  tribulations. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

FATE?

I don't believe in FATE.  I believe in living the consequences of each and everyone of our choices.  Consequences are inevitable and every twist and turns of the choices we make leads us to our DESTINY or our PLACE in this life.  That every decision made, brings us here to exactly where we are in this precise moment in our lives. 

Last night, I stepped out to my front porch and was surprised that it had rained and I was totally unaware of it.   The wind was howling, rustling the leaves of the trees back and forth.  Barefoot, I dashed to my car to check the windows because we have a bad habit of always leaving it down.   My feet felt a refreshed chill as the cement was wet and cold.  It brought back cherished memories of my childhood where every time it rains, every child in the neighborhood couldn't resist the chance to go out and play. 

For hours, we'd, slip and slide, swim in the mud, run, scream, laugh and played.   Unattended, unchaperoned by parents or adults.  Out in the open field of the old high school across the street.  Until our skin were wrinkly and squeakly clean, then I'd return home, exhausted, showered then dive under the warm sheet of my bed, listen to the raindrops on our rooftops and then drift off in heavenly bliss to sleep.  Happy, unaffected, untroubled by the burdens of reality, as every child in their childhood should be.  

Now, as a mother, times and places have changed.  My beloved island, use to be home, is no longer the place I desire to be.   This is the life I've chosen and this is the life that brings me joy, happiness and completeness.  My children, my family and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps to some, it may be limited and boring, but to me, they are my world and I wouldn't change a thing. 

FATE hath no place in my life.  Fate embraces sadness, regret, darkness and a life void of light and laughter. 
To every problem their is a solvable solution.  Every foe can be conquered and every wrong can be made right.  We choose our DESTINY.  We decide and design our own HAPPINESS through the choices and decisions that we make. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What about ME?

Through recent pondering and contemplation, I realize just how much I have abandoned myself.  As a person, an individual and a woman.  I'm one who always put everyone else's needs above and before my own.   In addition to my children, I take care of my beloved parents, both have had stroked and mom is bedridden.  Also, my great aunt Peta who adopted me.  All in my home.  So I am a care-giver and a nurturer and I rejoice at the opportunity to be able to do that.   However, I realize that in the process of loosing myself in their service, I have come to a total abandonment and neglegence of Me, Myself and I and it doesn't have to be that way. 

Don't these words have a selfish ring to them?   ME, MYSELF AND I.  I believe if I put my own needs above anyone else's then it does.  But that's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about taking care of myself and the basic needs of my body and nourishment of my mind and soul as a woman, as a mother and as an individual.  All day everyday, I run around like a headless chicken, cooking meals, delivering meals, throwing in laundry, loading the dishwasher, running errands, cleaning and more cooking,  taking care of the people I love and loving what I do but now and then my mind is screaming:  "What about me woman!  You take care of everyone else but yourself!"  Who will do this for me?  Sadly, no one else will or can do this for me but myself.   

Lately I haven't been looking myself straight in the mirror.  Honestly not contend at all with what and who I see in there.  My reflection reveals a run-down, breaking-down, falling apart image.  Not only from the lack of sleep but also from the lack of tender loving care and nourishment.  So I'm taking a step back to re-evaluate the way I treat myself.  This body is so healthy and strong and I want to say MAGNIFICENT but that would be sounding too conceited and full of myself.  LOL. But my body has been good to me and I need to reciprocate that goodness so it can continue. That way I'll be as good as new to take care of those I love.  Doggone it but here is the list of what I need to do:

Exercising (at least 4 times a week)
Eating right (I'm anti fruit and vegetable since I ate mostly that for the first half of my life)
Brush my teeth for an extra 2 minutes twice a day and don't forget to floss
Combing my hair more then once a day (sometimes I don't even have time to comb at all)
Making sure I take my daily supplements (those horse pills give me the creeps when I try to swallow)
Putting cream on my cracked, dried up heels (Utah weather is as dry as the desert itself)
Apply my anti-age nourishing cream to my face twice a day.  (When you're over 45, your skin needs extra care and attention.  To firm, lift, tightened and polished) 
Shape my uneven fingernails and toenails.  (I tend to bite them.  Fingernails that is)
Pluck and shape my bushy eyebrows and moustache.  (My husband and children never fails to remind me when they're overgrowing.  My girls: "Ewwhhh mom, your eyebrows!"  My husband:  "Honey, you're moustache is growing longer then mine").
Shave shave and more shave.  (Three places: my legs, my underarms and the top of my big toes)
Medidate:  Take time out of my busy schedule to be quiet and listen to myself.  My thoughts, my feelings for the world can clatter with so much distracting noises. 
Organize and plan:  A must because right now,  chaos follow me everywhere from the lack of organization and planning. 
Don't over-treat myself:  Yes I tend to over-indulge myself to oreos and other sweets.  I need to calm down in that area.  An emotional eater?  Well that's another post altogether. 

Me, myself and I, truly deserves these TLC moments.  That way I can honestly say:  "I LOVE MYSELF!" and not try to dodge myself in the mirror every time I look at it. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Between a rock and hard place

What a way to start out a Monday and the beginning of a new week.  Stuck between a rock and a hard place.   There's a deadly deadline for tomorrow but there's no dismay, come what may, we will get through it.   Like we did a thousand times before.

They say that "pain" can cause people to change but somehow I seem immune to pain.  Pain is not "painful enough" and sometimes I think I'm strange in that area.  I'm always one to remain calm.  Perhaps too calm when there's  a situation that requires one to "panic".  Not me.  I don't panic unless I'm running out of time yet no one can tell I'm panicking.   And I refuse to reveal how much pain I'm in no matter how much physical pain I'm experiencing.  Totally weird.  Right?

Reminds me when I was in labor with all seven of my children.  The nurses were always amazed at fact that I sleep through my labor pains without so much of an "ouch".   While the other mothers are screaming nasty threats to their husbands with hands flailing and heads shaking.  "Don't you ever lay a hand on me again!"  "You're gonna pay for this!"  "You son of a ....Ahhhhh!" Curse word!  Curse word!  I thought that was hilarous.  When it gets to the pinnacle of pain, all I do is squeeze my husband's hands and chew aggressively on ice.  (Thinking to myself I'm never going to have another child again)  Until the pain subsides then I'm back to sleeping again.  All 7 labors were natural without the side effects of epidurals to nump the pain.  Except for the very last one of all my children, oh yes I slept, but towards the edge of my labor I grapped the nurse's hand and begged:  "Can I get some epidural now?"  She smiled apologetically and said:  "I'm sorry, it's too late for that.  The baby's head is coming out".  "Oh, ok", I muttered disappointingly. 

As to "worrying", if there's nothing I can do about a situation then it's unnecessary for me to torture my mind worrying about it.  But if there's a solution then I'm determine to get to the point of it. 

How is it that they say: "change is the only constancy in life" and yet the more I try to make changes, the more things remain the same?  I'm always starting all over again.  Again, again and then again.  From the same exact place I was before and none-the-wiser.    Talk about being stuck in a rut.

Well, we've got one more day to come up with a solution.  It was a misunderstanding and miscommunication not to mention ignorant on  our part.  I already know this day is going to fly by and I feel almost half of it is gone already.   Well, here I go to conquer the foe!!!  We will S U R V I V E!!!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Birth Dates

So he called me from the Doctor's office asking for all our childrens' birth dates.  Mind boggling how he was presence at their procreations and their deliveries, except one, yet forget the dates of their birthdays.  He also asked for my SSI.  I felt offended that I memorized his SSI# and the children's birthdates and he doesn't.  We've celebrated the same birthdates for all Seven children every year at the same date, yet he still fails to remember or memorize them.  All I could say to him was:  "Where have you been in all our lives?" 

Do men in general forget their childrens' birthdates?  Or when you're over 3 children you have an excuse to forget.  Too many to remember?  Wow.  I give him credit for always remembering our anniversary.   Lord help him if he forgets.  He's always excited like a mouth watering child with a lollipop tangling infront of him.   All ready to jump and grap.  Two weeks before our anniversary, he'd tell me all his plans for that special day.   It's pleasing to know that after all these years (25) he's still thrilled and willing.  However, I only hope he won't be so forgetful of these significant dates that means the world to me.  

I think the best thing to do is have a "Remember Birthdates" session with him.  We'll do multiple choices and circle the right answers exercises.  That way he can remember who's birthdate is on which date.  This will
definitely trigger his memory.  After all, he didn't hestitate planting those seeds so he definitely have a responsibility to at least remember the day they were all born.  That's absolutely fair enough.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grap a Button

Woo hoo, it's quite thrilling to finally learn how to "Grap A Button" "Crop" and "Chop".  I've been grapping in vain  the SITSGIRLS button for the hundredth times and could not for the life of me, do it.  It took my daughter 3 seconds to show me how to do it.  I tried the Control C before but didn't know where to go from there and how to post it.  She came, did what I did with the Control button, went into Java something something, click and then paste.  There it is!  Wow.  Why couldn't it work for me before.  Just spell it out for me, why don't you. 

How do these kids catch on so fast to all these non-stop left-right clicking?  Control C,D and E.  Then to top it off all these paste, copy and  Shift, Alt and Delete.  They make it look so easy.   I totally need to take a computer class.  Really need to update my computer skills.  It's so rusty it creaks.

Now I just need to know how to upload, download and sideload music, photos, videos and all to my computer and from there to my blog.  Freak, I feel like I'm a hundred years old behind technology.   So ancient and dull.  I always feel like I'm a step behind everything.  I mean EVERYTHING except when it comes to computer skills,  I'm a thousand steps behind on that!!!  Either that or my brain is slowly rotting away. 
 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

CLUB T

Being misinformed about her whereabouts last night, I send her a reprimanding letter.  Cleary, this was one of those moments where I'm jumping the gun.   Waited and waited last night for them but they didn't get home 'til almost 3am.  Have called and called and no answer.  Not that I worry about her.  Sisilia is an adult, I was just wondering where the heck Papi was.  She needed to come home and sleep for school. 

In the kitchen arranging the leftovers from Sunday evening for dinner, I heard them returning home from work.  I have an idea of how she will confront me.  With her eyes rolling and a:   "you're so over-dramatic mom".   Bulls eye.  Just as I was about to ask her if she received my email.   I love emails.  They get across so quickly and there's no retrieving and deleting once you press that "send" button.  She continued, "We were at Club T mom, T for TEMPLE."  Well, gag me and throw me over a river, how would I know what Club T stand for.  It's the first time I've ever heard of the Temple Square being referred to as a Club T. 

Papi ended up staying home from school.  She couldn't lift her eyelids to save her life.  Plus, she couldn't find one clean pants since our dryer is broken and she failed to hang up her wash.  I'm trying to teach them responsibility so they can hang up their own wash and all.  She told me that Sil, Ash and Brit went to a club.  Like myself, she thought Club T was a real club.

Well it was a relief to find out she didn't go to a club afterall.  Club Temple holds no threats to her moral values and all.  After all the Spiritual Feasting we did yesterday, it would be a buzzlement to me if she actually went to a nightclub.  However, I should have a had a little more faith in her and give her the benefit of a doubt. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Old Crow, Young Crow

Eld. Boyd K. Packer read this simple yet touching poem during General Conference.  It's the first time I've ever heard of this poem and I loved it.  Packer is my favorite member of the Twelve Apostles.

ABOUT CROWS
by John Ciardi


The old crow is getting slow;
the young crow is not.
Of what the young crow does not know,
the old crow knows a lot.
At knowing things,
the old crow is still the young crow’s master.
What does the old crow not know?
How to go faster.
The young crow flies above, below,
and ringsaround the slow old crow.
What does the fast young crow not know?
WHERE TO GO.

He read it perfectly and we (the congregation) couldn't help but laugh at how true this poem describes relationship between the Old wise ones and the Young impatience ones.   Such is my relationship with my growing children.  They think they know better then I.  In everything.  They think that I'm just an old hag who's old fashioned, fobbish and out-dated in my ways.  Little do they know that I've been down that road they're travelling many many times before.   The way is literally paved.  That I know all the tricks and traps of the way and that I can help them smooth journey through life if only they can listen and listen well.

Was I like that when I was younger?  Of course.  I thought I knew better then my parents in many ways.  However,  I still listened and obeyed most of the things that they taught me.  I only pray my children will learn their lessons but not too late. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Guess What Mom?"

She burst into my room with that precise question:  "Guess What Mom?  You'll never believe who's smoking."  As I was working, I turned to her to keep it down.  She looked at me, shakes her head and said,  "I can't believe it mom.  (Name withheld) is smoking.  She is still in 6th grade mom and she's smoking".  Instantly my mind directed itself to this child's parents.  Why wouldn't she smoke?  Both her parents are heavy smokers.  Sadly, that justifies her choice to smoke.   How can she resist otherwise. 

Patiola went on to say how furious she was at this friend.  She is an old friend from the West Valley area and they were so close.  Even if they don't constantly hang out they still remain dear friends.  She's a distant cousin also.  Being Pati, of course she wanted to know where they were going during half time.  Someone mentioned to her that they were going to smoke and Patiola just couldn't believe that this good friend, so young, is smoking.  She tracked her down and straight out reprimanded her.  She asked her numerous questions in a threatening way:

Who got you started in the first place?
Ans:  "I was pressured into it by my older cousins".
When did you start smoking?
Ans:  "When I was in fifth grade

Disappointment, shock as well as concern showed on my darling daughter's face as she carries on about her friend.  I can tell that she takes this seriously because she cares about the well being of her friend.  I was so proud of the way she handles herself.  She literally made her friend promise her that she will quit smoking.  Her friend told her she's "addicted" but she'll try.  Before they returned to the football game, her friend and the other girl asked, "Do you have a gum?"  Pati, instead of answering asked back" "Why do you want a gum for?"  One of them answered, "Because we don't want our parents to smell the cigarette on our breaths".  Pati, being Pati, took out the gum she was chewing, "Here, this all I have."  She splits her already chewed gum in half and handed them to her friend and her friend's friend.  They took the gum chewed on it.  WTH. 
I can't believe they took it.

Pati's cousin Neni Girl had a fresh pack of gum and she grapped for it to give them some.  Pati shook her head at her stopping her from giving them any gums.  With eyebrows raised she said to me, "They smoke, they don't deserve a fresh pack of gums".  I could not stop laughing.  This is my Patiola Savannah at her worse.  She can be vicious sometimes but her heart is as big as the size of Texas.  After the talk, she asked me if she can get on FB and send her friend a message.  Allowed, I watched her posting something like, " (Name) you are beautiful and I care for you.  Be strong and stay strong in the church..."  I forget the rest of the things she said to her friend but it was a sweet message.  I love my Popsy.

"You can't erase me!"

My daughter Sisilia seeked my opinion on which song to sing tomorrow at the Young Adult's Musical Fireside.  Not that my opinion matters but I suggest anyways.   "How about, "He Came for Me", you sing that song beautifully?"
Not wasting any time, she protested, "Mom you always suggest that I sing that song and I hate that song".   Well, so much for my opinion
I reminded her, "Don't you remember what Bishop Manatau said to you when you sang that song at the Relief Society Program?  He said, "Sisilia, you look and sound like a star when you sang that night". 
"Bishop always says the most random things".
 She answers and continues "I want to sing "He Knew" but I don't want you to play the piano". 
"Why not?"  Baffled that she feels that way towards me I pointed out, "I've always been your pianist ever since you were in diapers!  Are you trying to erase me as your piano player?"
"Yes mom, only as my piano player.  Every time I sing, Bishop Manatau announces, (lowering her voice she mimicks) "Oh, and here is Sisilia Toki with her mother Sela who has been her piano player ever since she was in diapers!  I'm a grown up now, I need a different piano player.  I'm not a little girl anymore being treated like a child."
Her statement almost got me rolling on the floor with laughter but I kept a straight face not wanting to further wedge that needle that's poking her pride.  Her feelings are crystal clear to me.  Yet, she lacks knowledge.
"You can't just erase me as your pianist!  I'm the best pianist there is for you."  I assured her.  Not because I'm an excellent piano player.  Far from that.  The fact of the matter is, I feel when she sings.  She and I are in tune together to whatever piece of music she performs and with that she delivers all the time.  Something that she won't find with anyone else, unless she herself can instruct that player on how to play the piece for her.
Exactly how she wants to sing it.
I don't feel offended that she no longer requires my assistant in that matter.  I find it hilarious that she's so determine to be a grown up.  Little does she know that ditching me as her piano player has nothing to do with feeling grownup.  Being an independent grown up and an adult is something more then that all together.  It comes from within, not from anyone else.  If she was at all mature enough, she would accept me and be proud that I, her mother, still is able to play the piano for her.  What if I'm dead and a goner, no longer around?  I bet she'll crave my skills as a pianist and wished she had appreciated me more. 
My head aches trying to figure out the twist and turns of my daughter's mind.  She's so unpreditable and I love her for it.  Any attempt to comprehend and understand her mind though can do a number on  my self-esteem.  How dare she tries to erase me as her pianist.  So for now, I'll just try to ignore her insecurities and immaturity and be here whenever she needs me.    That's the mature thing to do.  LOL

Monday, September 26, 2011

So grateful

Overwhelmed with gratitude during Sacrament to-day at church.   For all the bounteous blessings that Heavenly Father has blessed me with.  Especially for my family, friends and also more specifically, the
gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.  Without this gospel, I truly don't know where I"d be with my family.
This gospel is a gospel of happiness, peace and an endless fountain of knwoledge.  I love being a member
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

To-day I thought about my son Eld. Toki and how he has lost himself in the service of God.  What perfect timing in his adulthood life to make that choice for him to go and serve his mission.  He's been out for more then a year already and have less then a year more to go.  Every time I hear from him, my heart explodes with joy and love for this son of mine.   He has baptized many souls and have been called back to the island of Maui to be a Zone Leader.  How thrilling it is to have your children walk in the light of Jesus Christ.  It gives me peace to know that throught these two years, he will build a sure foundation for himself as the future itself remains bleak, unpredictable and unclear.  It will give him strength to better prepare himself to be
a great father and a great priesthood holder for his future family to be.  I pray Eld. Toki will find a "Virtuous" woman for their price is "far above rubies". 

Can't believe this month is almost over.  Truly days now just flies by like minutes.  Fast and furious.  I need to make every moment count. 
.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a Week

Football, Emergency room, 'Ana's wedding, fishing in addition to the regularities of my life.  It was an almost typical week except for the occassional trips to the Emergency room.  If it's not my mom, it's my aunt Peta.  If it's not the two of them it's my dad or Sione's mom.  Had to rush my mom to the hospital as she was sick with stomach problems.  I know the Emergency room like the back of my hand.  More times then I care to count.  When any of my parents or my anut is in there, I am the only one that can accommodate their stay.  If one is hospitalized, I have no need to wonder who will see to them at the hospital.  I already know.  I love it though, sometimes the hospital is my break to take a breathing from the business of my everyday life.

My beautiful niece's 'Ana Seini had her wedding this past Friday.  It was one of the happiest weddings I've ever been to.  Married in the temple, 'Ana Seini set the greatest example for the other children to follow.  She is the sweetest, dearest girl.  Sometimes I think she is more like me then my own daughters.  Even my sister-in-law agrees with me.  My own girls are headstrong, stubborn and willfull.  Not that I want to change them.  I love the wildness in them.  Just sometimes I wished they would be a little more rounded spiritually.   This is something that I, personally, has to help them and Lord knows it's not from the lack of trying. 

Mahonrai's Bingham Sophomore football team is yet to be defeated.  They dominate every team they play against.   I think this year they will go undefeated. 

Yesterday, we went fishing.  My husband, bless his heart, failed miserably to catch one darn fish.  Sisilia and I couldn't help but laugh at him.  He was so sure he'll catch at least 40 fishes.  We came home and fried fishes from my sister-in-law's husband who went fishing and make that many catches.  LOL.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Technology dummy

There's no question about it.  I've got to be the dummest of all when it comes to any kind of technological equipment.  It seems they have their own technical language that I fail to comprehend.  I was trying to add a gadget to my blog.  The instruction told me to drag and then paste.  Well I tried that and instead of pasting, it told me to "remove all cookies..."  The only cookies I know is the edible ones.  Hell, I don't even own a cell phone.  Almost everyone else in my family has one but no, not me.  Because I'm home and work on the phone and computer from home, I really don't need one.  (You think I work on computers I'd be a genius at it?  Nah, only the basics.  On, off, answer the phone and type in the information.  Exit.  Plus, it's just another expense I can do without.  Technology is an endless wonder these days.  And they keep coming and coming.  New information, new ideas, new discoveries and only Heaven knows what's coming next. 

Just recently I learned how to text.  My children taught me how.  It's scary when my oldest daughter got her cell phone.  It stuck like glue to her fingers.  Non-stop texting and talking on the phone.  I was afraid it might stick permanently to her fingers.  She whips up that phone everywhere.  In the car, in the restroom, day and night.  Even at church and I'm sitting there poking her to put away her phone.  How irreverent and disrepectful.  It almost blew my mind seeing her fumble with her phone during Sacrament meetings of all places.  She told me she can access her sciptures on her phone.  Not that she can fool me one bit.  Yet "WOW" is all I can say to that.

Now there's I-everything.  Iphone, Ipad, Itouch, Imax and Icons.  Sounds like everything is about Me, Myself and I all the time.  I, I and I.  Everything is Imazing.   But everytime I think about the wonders of technology, I can't help wondering just how far this technical world will go.  When will it all end?  When we can read each others mind?  How terrifying that will be.  Everything is a "click" and a "touch" away.  As for myself, I need to keep up with the rest of the world.  Otherwise, I'm a dead duck.  Now, I need to go and learn how to remove those cookies.  Umm, now I'm craving Oreos!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting, waiting, waiting

Sometimes it feels like half of my life is spent WAITING!  Waiting, waiting and waiting.  For the right moment to arrive, for more time, for more money, for a ride, for another chance, another opportunity, for the right diet, for Mele's guitar strings, for my slow computer to refresh, for detergent, for a response.  Something always comes up to deny and prolong me from getting things done and having things right away. 

Sometimes it's procrastination but most times it's the poor excuses of my circumstances.  Can't do this because I don't have that.  Can't exercise because I need exercising clothes.  Can't get to places because I don't have a car.  Sometimes it just feel like I'm missing all my chances because I'm waiting too long, and yet, everything I've ever wanted does come by.  It just seems like I'm waiting forever and ever for them to happen.  And it seems like I'm running out of time and yet they do come by.

I've always been a Patience-is-a-virtue type of woman.  Never over-anxious but anxious nonetheless.  Always considering the alternatives and the other options.  If this doesn't happen, there's always another way.  "When a door closes, another windows opens."  Never the giving up type.  Always hopeful and forever faithful.  Waiting, waiting and waiting.  Patiently waiting. 

However, there is a dark side to waiting.  Even when you are patiently waiting.  Like this morning.  If one allows it, hopelessness does seeps in.  Despair clouds all reasons and if dwell in these depths of miserable confusions, the foul breath of bitterness can engulf you and sucks you in and I feel like I'm drowning in an ocean with an anchor chained to my ankles going down, down, down.   

This is where God comes in to my rescue and this is when I'm on my knees begging for strength and for forgiveness for my impatience.  This is where I'm reminded, "Look how far you've come, surely you can wait a little bit longer."  I'm reassured that everything happens "for thine own good".  Then I find myself basking in renewed gratitude for what I have been blessed with in all my life.  LIFE itself.  My children.  My families and my friends. 

With hope strengthened and a knowing smile on my face, I realize that this too shall pass.  That if I can wait this long, surely I can wait a little longer.  After all, I'm a master at "WAITING" and I'm a living proof that "good things" does come to those who waits.  I have always been a firm believer that the ALL KNOWING ALMIGHTY always, always knows what is best for me.  So if I don't get what I want or need now, I will eventually get it.  I just have to wait for it.