Wednesday, September 24, 2014

20 weeks.

I'm 20 weeks, bitches.  Half way point. And I feel, ok. Work schedule is demanding and I’m fighting a flu, but in general, I’m fine. Touch wood. 

I had a follow up appointment today and as usual joined the cattle herd of pregnant women in the crowded waiting rooms waiting for our 5 minutes of undignified prenatal “care”. The last time I went for a check up, there was a new doctor standing in for one of the usual, she was an Indian lady. Probably a volunteer of some sort, here to help a third world country, probably fresh out of med school… You could tell she was in way over her head, she seemed panicked and had probably never dealt with 50 pregnant patients before 8am.  The doc normally gives me an ie lavalava and asks me to get on the table thingie. She told me to get on, and without warning she pulled my dress up over my stomach, she looked at my legs in shock and said, you have lots of tattoos eh? I just nodded. She then listened across my belly with her stethoscope for all of 3 seconds, and said, “I can’t hear the heartbeat, don’t worry about it, come back in 4 weeks.” I don’t think she even made eye contact with me. It was over in 5 minutes.  If I hadn't several similar appointments (minus the shock horror at leg tattoos) I would've been shocked.  But I'm not, a tad disappointed perhaps, but well adjusted enough to not get into a tirade about it. This is island life for you. 

So today, again I went, expectations zilch, a bag of food and a book to keep me busy while I waited out the 2 hour sitting time. The visit was – uneventful. Baby’s heartbeat was strong and regular, tests all came back fine... come back in 4 weeks.

What I did find impressive is the educational programs that run in the waiting rooms. So the Department of Health has these programs (Well baby, Breast feeding, WIC, Pre-natal health, etc…) and they send representatives to talk to their target (knocked up) audience about their services. Probably the most opportune time since we have 2 hours to kill and nowhere to go. There is a wealth of (largely free) resources available to pregnant mother’s and newborn care. You can get free breast pumps, free healthy food during pregnancy and the first few years of your child's life. Free birth control, free visits to the hospital, your house from breastfeeding nurses. And they are constantly telling you what to eat, and giving "advice" on how to stay healthy during your pregnancy. I always find it amusing the no nonsense way Samoans tell other Samoans what to do especially when its women telling other women what to do. It’s like listening to your mother tell you off.

“Don’t be fiapoko when you breastfeed, if you do it wrong, your baby will choke. Pay attention.”

“Quit drinking that soda crap. Oh, its so disgusting how can you even feed that to your baby? Drink water and milk, you hear?”

"These programs are optional, you have the right to refuse, but girl, its free food. Don't be an idiot. Sign up sheets are at the back there with Lise."

Today an older lady gave a no-nonsense talk about birth control, it was the most hilarious, graphic, awkward, and definitely memorable discussion about condoms, vasectomies, IUDs, STDs and cheating horny husbands I’ve ever sat through.

One of the gems from her talk today, “Condoms are good for you! Make sure when your husband wants to jump you tell him, “don’t touch me until you put on that rubber!” Condoms are especially good for you because if your husband is sleeping around, whatever he caught from the hoe down the street, you won’t get it.”

Lol. Preach sister. 

20 weeks to go. Touch wood. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Toddler Fun Times and (Shoot me with a) Gun Times

Now that I’m expecting again, I think about how my daughter will react with some sibling company. I often find myself wondering, how well they’ll get along, how often they’ll fight with each other, and whether they’ll conspire together to do things that they’ll know are against my wishes! (Highly likely, I suspect)

It also makes me cherish this time with my “only child” while I have her all to myself, and while she has me all to herself. I guess like most things, there are incredibly challenging moments, and then there are those priceless moments that far outweight any (sleep lost, cash deficit, weight gain, I could go on and on here).

I thought I’d make note of some of the fun times, and the times I wanted to grab a gun and shoot someone.

Fun time – watching Lili’s reaction to animals at the zoo, and vehicle exhibits at MOTAT (Museum of Transport & Technology), her excitement is so visible, you get excited, and then exhausted just watching her.

Gun time – The tantrum she threw on the tram at MOTAT where she screamed for the entire 15 minute train ride because she wanted to take the plane (exhibit) home.

Fun time – Scrolling through her iPad Youtube surfing history and seeing the weird things this kid enjoys watching. Disney toy reviews, video game reviews, Kinder surprise reveal videos, vintage Superman clips (Christopher Reeve only), Lego videos, etc. Lol

Gun time – Her biggest frustration is: slow Internet. Lol (Take it up with your ISP :P) Lawd help us if we reach our data cap.

Fun time – our funny little conversations. She says things like, “Hey Daddy, you’re so beautiful!” or when she sees a picture of her Nana she’ll say, “That’s my Nana and your mom”, or when she calls me at work to ask me, “Watcha doin, mommy?”.

Gun time – when I’m dead tired and she wants to ask the same question over and over and over.  “Mommy, how do you kill the crocodile again?”

Fun time – her funny little Lili-isms. Like when she goes to anyone’s birthday party, she thinks it’s her birthday. She’ll blow the candles on the cake, and expect to open the presents…” Or, when she gets something she wants, like we agreed to go swimming the next day, and she does a full on gratitude dance, “Thank you mommy, thank you mommy,” singing and dancing with appreciation so genuine, you could only get it from a 3 year allowed to go swimming.

Gun time – trying to take her home from birthday parties while she’s kicking and screaming wanting to take “her” presents home. Or, trying to take her home from swimming and she’s not ready to go yet. Of course, lots of kicking and screaming.

Fun time - Her love of reading. And how she likes to correct me, and skip ahead to her favourite parts when we read.

Gun time – When I’m late for work, and she is insisting we “Read it one more time, mommy, pleeeease.”

Fun time – Waking up next to her and she says, “Good morning mommy!” and she pokes your eyes til you they are OPEN.

Gun time – Trying to go to bed, its already late, and she pokes your eyes til they are OPEN.

I could go on and on here.

No doubt, more fun and gun slinging times ahead.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vacation update

It's pretty generous of me to call it a vacation, but I guess that's what it is to turn on your vacation automatic responder message and then ignore work for 2 weeks. I gave instructions not to contact me unless they needed a drop of my blood to save a soul. And even then, it better be someone important. I practically threatened the life of a staff member of mine that whatsapp'd me about trivial work fodder on my very first day. I've heard nothing since. I haven't touched my laptop, turned off my email on my phone and decided to do zero work.

So, with no work, the last 2 weeks have been... cold. And I've replaced the stress of work with the stress of dealing with my neurotic, crazy parents. And frankly, some days it's hard to say which is worse. Have spent much of my time child rearing, cleaning and cooking, you know like a good daughter/ wife should? Yea, bloody torture. The thing I have missed most second only to sunshine, is my babysitter.

I've also somehow spent exorbitant amounts of money, lord knows on what other than my parents groceries and my daughter's frequent excursions to Burger King - ok fine, those were my excursions but damn, those BK Chickens really add up. The shopping has been shit - nothing but winter Sales (except for the one awesome Clearance sale at Postie - go ahead judge me, I don't care).

On the plus side, managed to catch up with newlyweds (thanks for the dinner guys!) and managed to get away and spend 2 nights away at a hotel in the city (more coins) because the thought of taking another flight to "get away" was just too damn tiring for me.

I've also filled my quota of KFC, meat pies, meringues, BK, St. Pierre's sushi, and Yum cha on this trip.  Yes, only the finest Kiwi cuisine for me.

We are booked and ready (!) to fly back tomorrow, and I just got a call (from work) this evening that I need to stay here a few more days to get some work done.  I find this slightly annoying, but I am almost gleeful at having the excuse to get out of my wifely/ daughterly duties for the next 2 days in the name of work.

Lawd, I just want my normal life back.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Travel and tummy anxiety

 Today, I depart on a long awaited, much need, and extremely overdue vacation. I have to go to the Cook Islands first for work, and I’m so over work that I am not looking forward to it and I’d rather not go. I’m also having major flying anxiety with all the crazy happenings with flights of recent.

The flight that went down just off the coast of Tafuna earlier this week with the father son duo on their journey to circumnavigate the world was particularly heartbreaking and literally, close to home.

I figure, all this anxiety and tiredness will dissipate once I get a clean break from the grind, lots of sleep and hopefully have a few meals I enjoy.

I am expecting with our second baby, praise God. I’m just crossing into the second trimester, which means for the last 12 weeks I have been a walking bag of hormonal treachery. (Because you know I’m normally such a ray of sunshine? Shut up.)  Completely the opposite from my first pregnancy when I felt as though nothing was really going on except for my voracious appetite and protruding belly.

Well, I am looking forward to some down time, hopefully my mother doesn’t drive me too crazy.

Wish us luck, travelling Gods, be kind!

I hope the rest of you out there are doing well


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bad wife award

I am (yet again) the recipient for the bad wife (and not in the good way either) award for forgetting my husbands birthday for the 3rd year in a row! There's really no excuse, I never forgot once before we got married.

Lucky for me, he is definitely the more patient and kind of the two of us. I won't get into the mad fuss I made on my birthday. #facepalm

Needless to say, epic, groveling comeback in the works.

Happy belated birthday husband,

I love you, always.

Your (bad) wife.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Timata le Gagana

I'm currently reading Timata le Gagana, a book by Fofo Iiga I. F. Sunia on the correct use and application of the Samoan language.

It's useful for people like me, who in pursuit of mastering the English language, have found my wielding of my Samoan tongue shamefully below par.  It's the biggest irony of my "higher education", that I didn't learn, or care to learn the proper command and use of my Gagana Samoa, that is now more precious to me than any degree. Guess the joke is on me, eh!

So, it's in accessible enough language that I'm finding it an informative and entertaining read.  The author's voice is both serious and funny, it feels like he is sharing a fagogo with me as I read through his passages explaining away common mistakes in spoken Samoan language.

A few funny excerpts. I've been guilty of both!:

Failautusi: O la e i luga o le isi laina. Se'i alu ese ona ta'u ai lea i ai na e valaau mai.

O le sasi lenei e malosi ai failautusi i ofisa. E mafua i le faaliliuga o le tali faaPeretania: He is on the other line." Tuu pea ia le nanu a papaplagi, a o la tatou gagana e fia fai ia sa'o ma logolelei.  Tamaiti e, e le o ti'eti'e lou pule i luga o le isi laina! O lae talanoa ai.


Ua augata e mafaufau i le faaupuga Samoa o le faatali le pasi, oso mai loa le kesi - "Ala po e kesi le pasi." Ua uma le pu'e, a ua kesi.


O le fuaitau lea e fia faaliliu o le catch the bus. E le mafai e se isi ona pu'e se pasi! E saoasaoa le mea, toe lapo'a! A e a fia alu i le pasi, usu po e faatali, pe taofi, pe faatu (le pasi).

Get your copy: Timata le Gagana

Friday, June 27, 2014

I’m melting.

Shit. I’m tired, and I’m bloody tired of being tired.

I’m at another one of my famous breaking points where I don’t know if I need to fire people, or just quit.   For a long minute now, I’ve been trying to stay positive and approach things as a challenge, and today, I’m just, done. Over. It.  

Time to go the hell home for the day, methinks before I spontaneously combust.

Monday, May 19, 2014

On humanness.

As humans we are inherently fallible. As humans we are not only capable of making mistakes and being wrong, but we are by design, destined to. Therefore, a frustration or fear of failure is a senseless act of denying our humanness. What we must remember is that, while we are inherently fallible, we are also inherently progressive. Just as we are hard wired to make mistakes, we also have the innate ability and desire to move on and improve from them. Embrace your humanness.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mournful nights

The rain has poured down every night since we laid you to final rest.
As though the earth too, could no longer hold in its sorrow for your departure.

Only now that the dust is settling after your swansong, that the finality of your death is dawning on me, on us all. I know each of us is silently facing the emptiness that is your glaring absence in our lives now, and in our futures.

I hope you'll forgive us all for the glumness. I know you'd hate it.
You were the antithesis of glum.
You were laughter, light and life.
You were wisdom and love and family.
You were wit, wordsmith, and charmer.
You were father, husband, brother, uncle, patriarch.
You were so much to so many.
So much so, that your loss leaves but a bottomless pit of grief
And an irreplaceable gap in our hearts.

I cling to the fondness of our memories.
I retell the punch line of your jokes.
I remind myself of the soundness and sincerity of your advice.
I remember your pride, sense of self and your humility.
I recall your voice in the songs you sang and poems you shared.
I hold dear to the parts and pieces of you that have undeniably shaped me, comforted me, raised me, loved me. More than you probably ever knew.

I smile, knowing it's probably what you're doing now. Up there amongst the angels, keeping it light and bringing them together.

I am assured in my belief that although you have left this life, you are always with us. What you taught us will guide us, and you will continue to manifest in all that we do and achieve. I hope we make you proud. And I know that you are always safe within the confines of my heart and the hearts of all who loved you, where you'll stay forever.

I love you, Uncle Tate. Rest in Love.

Friday, February 28, 2014

My mom the MBA student

So my mother has been admitted to the MBA program at Massey University and is starting her first paper this semester. I am so proud of her.  Clearly I’m biased but my mother is just one of those women who are endlessly amazing. Every good quality people think I possess, my mother possesses ten fold. (Same might be said for the nasty qualities. LOL! Ok, just kidding J)

At the tender age of twenty, following the sudden death of her mother, she left a college scholarship to pursue her fleeting schoolgirl passions with the Prime Minister’s (at the time) youngest son (she’d hate me for saying that but it’s my blog, sorry mom!). She was married at 21 and raised a bunch of bratty kids and she gave us the best of everything. We are all grown, educated and off in the world sending money back to her. She has checked that box and she rejoined the workforce about 7 years ago (after raising kids and running family businesses for 20 years) and she is currently a Manager in a NZ Government Ministry. She has taken to Public service/ Corporate life like a house on fire and she is now going back to finish what she started to get her piece of paper.  And it is so my mother to consider herself ready for the MBA program without anything but experience, who needs a measly Bachelor’s degree anyway?

I laugh when I think about her in an MBA classroom because I can see her debating with CEOs and lecturers like she was born to do it, because, that’s just how she rolls. She will command the room each time, and she will be critical, firm and eloquent in her contributions and fiery should some poor sod ask to be put in their place. Oh, to be a fly on that wall. I would watch it for sport I tell you.

I offered her some study tips, for which she politely thanked me (thanks little girl). But something tells me, she’s got this.