26 March 2013

The Throw Down!

Let's just say that this past weekend showed how great a leader and father James is. I'm glad I didn't have to fill the shoes he needed to, in order for things run smoothly & honestly. Even though I can still be a Negative Nancy at times for living here, I am reminded by little situations like this weekend (& others) that our family was needed here for various purposes. And to be honest, it's still taking me time to adjust, even accept, responsibilities asked of us. I could go into a play-by-play about an emotional meltdown I had today, but I'll save it since Hawaii is nearby. SO near. 

So last week was drama. It pathetically found us, as in the business we manage…….and like the smart people we are, things were taken cared of, allowing us to recover Saturday, Sunday and welcoming a fresh new week. *FYI- Dumb people, will always be dumb. Not necessarily uneducated, but just NO common sense or integrity. As you can see, James is the one with compassion & I'm the one still rolling my eyes!

Friday, after the huge "throw down", we got ready & relaxed at our first Pesega Lima (5th) Ward party. It was at the gym located on Pesega High's campus. James made a yummy crab salad. Yes, VERY yummy. James is pretty cocky when it comes to cooking & anything in the kitchen, even washing dishes, but he really is a good cook. He can throw things together and it'll taste awesome. Ya, it's kind of annoying, especially since he sounds like a "know-it-all" as he cooks. hahaha. For me, I like my recipes & I stick with them. Anyways, his was one of the few dishes that was devoured, sauce and all. Good job hun! Mind you, the sister serving our crab salad was calling it coleslaw. hahaha.

I got to perform with some of my relief society sisters. It felt wonderful to dance again. I think I was OVERLY excited when I was invited & learned the dance as soon as they taught it to me. It was my first time performing a Cook Island dance. We were even called up for a hana hou. Mahie got really excited when she saw me on stage & tried to copy us, it was cute. 

Saturday, was very relaxing. Although James had to wake up for a 6 a.m client, we all were able to get sufficient rest and put in quality time to deep clean our home. I am very particular when it comes to cleaning. I'm not an OCD freak nor do I always have a spotless house, but I do get grossed out when people don't clean things properly. I almost had a heart attack  the first time we arrived and I saw our house girl wipe the table, counter & floor messes up…and then use the same rag thing to wash our dishes. Pua'i!! Blah! Anyways, I'm proud that I have made a few adjustments here and there, making it a little homier for our time spent in the family house. I still have a lot of projects in mind to keep me occupied while I roast in the Samoa heat, but I seriously can't wait to stop by Ross to bring things back. 

Early Sunday morning, in the wee dark mosquito filled hours of night……I heard the happiest voice talking loudly as if no one was asleep. Mum arrived from Auckland!!! With boxes of New Zealand cookies, chocolates, lollies, clothes for the kids and things for the business. The fun definitely had arrived and I couldn't be any more relieved, excited, overjoyed! I love my husband and my babies, but sometimes a woman just needs another woman to talk to. 
Evan wearing 9-12 months clothes from Aunty Sharon in NZ
(He just made 5 months)

Mum's energetic spirit has filled our home once again and I can't believe she has been gone a month and a half/almost two months. I remember James and I dreading the day Mum would leave us alone here in Samoa, and now here we are almost 100% locals, hahaha. Almost. I made a joke to Mum when she walked in saying, "You smell really nice!! What are you wearing?"   Mum: "Oh, nothing, I didn't put anything special on. It's just me."   Me: "Oh, that's right…….I forgot how nice NORMAL smelled like". Maybe because it was 1 in the morning & we're delirious…..or that I've lived here in Samoa for almost 3 months, you know, smelling trash burning outside, sweaty people, mosquito punk smoke……..so I can make jokes like that & laugh, because we both laughed so hard. Just incase someone out there gets offended. I don't care. 

Mum has been a big help. I even got to relax baby-free, laundry-free, dinner-free, dishes-free, Aleipata kid-free, lol, watching all my Pretty Little Liars dvds…..and we even bullied James into driving us to "Kua" (not sure of the spelling), the "boonies" of Samoa where all the gorgeous beach resorts are. We are totally burnt. No where, not even the beaches back home in Hawaii can beat the crystal clear water & white sandy beaches here. 

.….now to spend as much time as we can with "Nana" before this week is over. Tomorrow I plan to FORCE Mum to bake her yummy brownies!!

13 March 2013

Teepee or Grass Shack

{*Not a post about us in Samoa, hahaha}

Culturally, my childhood was confusing at times. Ok, not so much confusing, but I was born with two separate cultural worlds. My siblings and I were raised in Laie, Hawaii all our lives. And the ONLY Hawaiian/Navajo's, for quite a while. In fact, most people didn't even know what a "Navajo" or "Native American" or "American Indian" was, especially if they were Polynesian. 

The Hawaiian comes from my Father's side, with a little part Chinese, German, etc. mixed in, raised in Papakolea. So you CAN'T argue he ain't Hawaiian. He meets the Hawaiian Homes blood quantity requirement, but us kids don't. THAT'S BECAUSE…my Mother is Navajo or "Dine", FULL BLOODED. From little Sawmill, Arizona. (Middle of Navajo Reservation) 

So this is just from my perspective & feelings, not sure how my siblings felt or feel. 

Anyways, I grew up in Hawaii, raised as a Hawaii kid with black rubbah slippahs, dancing hula, always at the beach. I KNEW I was Hawaiian because I felt Hawaiian. Of course I was also told I was Navajo too, and a few times a place called "the reservation" and "Window Rock, Arizona" where my Navajo Grandma Yazzie lived was mentioned a few times. And then every so often old albums were pulled out showing kodak portraits of red/orange deserts & canyons, recalling foggy memories of once-in-a-while trips we took to Dinehtah (Navajoland). 

Around our home I'd stare at exotic looking sand art tiles, southwestern pottery designs, and daydream as I secretly played with my mother's delicate turquoise jewelry. I always enjoyed my fish, poi & rice but was equally thrilled when Mom made fry bread or Navajo tortillas (don't know how to write the Navajo name). As a child "Navajo" seemed faraway. That changed as I grew up.

We made trips to the Navajo Reservation when we were older and I visited many other Native American reservations. I embraced its beauty with a mature mind, finally understanding all of my once foggy memories. Not replacing my Hawaiian childhood but adding to and thus completing my unique culture. My siblings and I are pretty unique. You can't get more 'NATIVE" than us. 

Just a few responses I've gotten from people trying to make sense of me saying I'm Hawaiian & Navajo:

Being Hawaiian:
-"Oh, there's still Hawaiians alive?"
-"Are you sure you're not Filipino?"
-"Soo, basically Asian?"
-"But if you can't speak your language, how are you Hawaiian?"
-"You're not really Hawaiian because King Kamehameha was Samoan"
-"Don't Hawaiians wear tons of gold bracelets?"
-"Why don't you surf?"

Being Navajo:
"What's a Navaho?"
-"Ohhhh, like Pocahontas?!!"
-stranger waves hand in circular motion and says in a deep voice 'Howww'
-"where's your feather?"
-"Do you guys always wear feathers?"
-"Oh, I'm a little part-Cherokee too"
-"Do you live in teepees?"
-"You must be rich off of casinos"
-"So you're like the bad Lamanites in the scriptures that were cursed."

People/family in Hawaii asked if people/my family in Arizona lived in teepees. People/family in Arizona asked if people/my family in Hawaii lived in grass huts. Go figure. 

Things to point out, because I can!
*Other Polynesian cultures always made fun of Hawaiian culture: chanting, hula, making up words, fighting for our land….AND YET these NON-Hawaiians are the ones giving their newborns HAWAIIAN middles names!!!! Wtf?! 

*The Pinterest/Hipster obsession of wearing a full-feathered headdress like they fashionable. No, you look dumb! Or stringing feathers in your hair & wearing tribal prints on Instagram, eeeh!

*Hallowen costumes: "Be a Hawaiian, wear a coconut bra & grass skirt kit" or "Be an indian, feather & facial paint kit". Ummm, you're turning someone's culture into a Party City costume.

*Kahuku High & their arm chops & hand over mouth "wah wah wah". I'm at fault for this too because I'm an alumni. But I was always like, my Mom, grandparent don't do this. Only "Indians" in Hollywood & Disney do. 

No, I'm not mad. lol. I'm not trying to be politically correct on anything, nor a marching sovereign-ist, activist, or negative Nancy. This was just my random blog thought for the day. Yes times have changed. Yes things have modernized. Yes even my own cultures are not perfect. Yes even people of my cultures are ignorant. Yes I'm gorgeous. hahaha, got you. 

So it's either hula girl or Pocahontas. Whatevs, I may not be fluent in any of my languages, or culturally knowledgable…but those before me were & remind me that I'm American. (Not getting so Patriotic).

Anyways, just think what my kids will go through. At least they will be greatly funded in college scholarships. And I'll randomly end with that. SHABOOYAH! 

FYI {There are over 4,000 Native American tribes; only 513 of which are still 'recognized' by the US Government. The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribe in the United States 300,000+ members, with also the largest owned land area.} ....someone asked

04 March 2013


Little "Evie" is now Mr. 4 MONTHS! 

I know we Mama's say this a lot, but these past months have flown by. I'm a little guilty though. I promised I wouldn't be one of those parents that noted/photographed every milestone for their oldest child and then gives the second the shaft. And I have! I blame our move and it being too hot here to function at times. I'm kidding, but here's to documenting every second of Evan's life too! I promise Son, one day you'll find this blog & feel just as important as your bossy older sister. 

Okay, let's start with his BIG head. He has a HUGE WIDE head. Not soo much "Hey, Arnold football" width, but its pretty wide and round. That's definitely not my genes. I don't remember Mahie having a huge head, not that I'm fearing he's abnormal. I love it, it makes him even more chubby & yummier to cuddle with. Well, his fat head isn't as bald anymore. It's covered with hair, its just that his strands are so thin. And they fall out! My poor baby sheds hahaha. The thickest and longest parts are on his sides, so if you run water through, they stick up like two horns. 
instagram baby horns, just like "Sulley"

I think my kids are going to be very tall. *FINGERS CROSSED. Both Mahie and Evan are very long babies. When I nurse him, it feels like he's wrapping around my body. Currently he is about 27/28 inches long. Not sure about his weight, but James says he's heavy & can barely hold him for 10 minutes. I guess I'm just used to carrying him throughout the day because this kid WILL NOT go down. He will cry so loud if he sees you walking away.

This guy LOVES to eat. He still feeds like a newborn and sometimes I'm like, "Can I have a break to replenish my supply?" However when 9pm hits, he's out like a lightbulb until the next morning. Lately though he's been waking twice to "snack nurse" lol, really short feeding sessions to which his eyes roll back and off to deep sleep he goes. They say babies go through a growth spurt at 4 months, so maybe thats why. Sadly (for us & ME mostly) he has DENIED+REFUSED the pacifier. I guess there are highs and lows. Mahie loved her pacifier & it was hell when we forgot it at home or misplaced it. But it kept her calm, situated and put her straight to sleep. Before she turned one we decided to wean her off & that sucked for three days. Maybe it's because she was formula fed and Evan is breastfed. Correction: he USED to take it right to the day we moved here. But we stopped for a while after we kept catching our "house girls" dropping it and not washing, or holding the mouth part in between their fingers, etc; no matter how many times we scolded them. Consequently he caught a bad & fussy case of oral thrush from those germs, which annoyingly passed to me. I was in blistering pain for half a month, on medication & forced to pump for a baby that hates bottles. SO that pain = me pissed off = NO ONE touches Evan without washing their hands. He then never went back to a pacifier. I guess I'm the pacifier now. LOL. Get over it if you feel uncomfortable right now. I really don't mind if we used a pacifier or not. I say parents should do whatever gives them peace of mind. 

He is still pretty light. Not as white as his cousin Sofia, but way lighter than Mahie or the Joyce's kids. After holding him, a pink imprint of your hand will be on his skin. His cheeks will turn red even with sunscreen & being in the shade. Mahie on the other hand gets no sunburn, runs around IN THE SUN, however her face stays white and her body black!

I'm pretty sure he is size 3 diapers, but they don't go by that here. They go by kg's & i'm too lazy to check the packaging. Diapers are such a rip off here. I'm glad we only just ran out of our Costco supply we bought. Still going strong with the wipes. 

Things that I feel have come early:
-A month and a half ago he started biting. He only has full gums, so I blew off the idea of him teething. Too early? Well that gum biting has only increased and I fear a tooth may break through soon. His middle front feels firm. Please no! This is my first time exclusively breastfeeding, so I don't know what to expect, something similar to "Ouch!" He chews & sucks his hands and fingers non stop. If you get too close to his mouth, he will quickly turn and chomp at you. It's kinda scary if you don't back off quick enough, haha. 

-He also has a strong grip and midsection. Again, last month I was playing with him on the couch. As I held his hands in mine, he literally pulled and sat up….and then stood up (of course leaning on my hands). He beat Mahie at this stage. Now at 4 months, when you hold his hands as he is laying down, he automatically will sit and stand. It's so weird and cute. And then give you a full gum smile as if he's proud of his trick. 

(a typical day)

-He has also been rolling and wiggling backwards. Yup, he fell twice. Once off a low couch onto carpet and sadly once off a bed. He isn't safe anywhere, since he was surrounded with pillows and then sleeping in the MIDDLE of the bed. He's a wiggle worm. And silent too. FYI not safe on the ground either because Mahie will sit on him and watch Mulan. He's ok, don't worry. He giggles when Mahie inflicts pain on him, ummm yah?

Other than that, he is a big healthy boy. Very happy and smiley. His gum smile melts my heart. I love laying him in my lap and making all sort of noises to get him to coo or giggle. He is also VERY ticklish. Any fat you squeeze, he laughs. He gets really happy when he sees Mahie, even if she ignores him or tries to roll him and says, "MOVE!". Oh and remember that solid grip I mentioned earlier, well Mahie has finally gotten a taste of her own medicine. Lately, Evan has been able to snatch her hair when she leans in and WILL NOT LET GO. I'm such a bad Mom, because I just let him pull her hair. And it's hilarious seeing her panic and struggle to pry his fingers open. Once free, she wastes no time to tattle-tale, "Eban….hair. MINE hair. Pull hair. Ouch". She then will wait/expect me to scold Evan. After which she will say, "Aua Eban. Niiiiiiice" aka "No Evan, be nice!". I then will have to send her away or she will try to pluck off one of his precious hairs. I must be an awesome Stay-at-home Mom, cause look, I can translate baby talk, eh.

And Big Sister Mahie is making 23 months soon to be my big TWO YEAR-OLD!
Love you Evie my chunky boy. Countdown to Hawaii!