Tuesday, February 24, 2015

50 shades of - sorry not in this country.

So they won't be screening 50 Shades of Grey in the movie theater here in American Samoa, not that that's entirely surprising - I suppose whoever censored it is afraid some village fuam may fancy himself a Kulisi Efufu and suggestively hang naked from his neighbors wife's pa auke or something. Is that not how the scenes in the book play out?



I never read it. I never quite caught on to the hype, my sister left her copy at my house yonks ago and it's gathered dust in my bedroom untouched except for my husband having the occasional peak (skip to the naughty bits, damn perv.) Yes I hear you giggling like a damn school girl, bro.

Now I'm neither here nor there about it. People love it, good for them. I don't, it's whatever. That's what fiction & stories are for - entertainment & escape. I can dig that.

Last night (or in the wee hours of this morning) as I was mindlessly blog surfing after putting down the baby, I stumbled across a blog post by my younger brother he wrote 3 years ago about 50 shades of Grey. I thought it was hilarious then, and still hilarious now.  Here he speaks, 50 Shades of Truth.

And for those of you disappointed about not being able to watch it on big screen here, you will probably prefer to get a bootleg copy and watch it in privacy anyway. No? Don't lie. ;-)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My gory birth story

Disclaimer - I know I said it in the post title, but really, this is gory. Read at your own risk.

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So on Thursday the week before last, I woke up with what I felt were mild contractions. It felt like an intense kegel, or something like it.

I started my day as I did every day for the last few weeks, reading birth stories on the various pregnancy apps I was registered on. I'd joined a community of pregnant women all over the world, all of us due in February, and we had had shared the journey of being pregnant over the last 9 months together. Over the last few weeks, one by one, someone gave birth and posted their gory birth details. I've cried lots of tears of joy for these women I didn't know.

That day, I read all 57 new birth stories and went about my day. I decided to cook some curry. I'd had cravings that had me googling "Fijian beef curry recipe" and spice shopping for the last 3 weeks.

I felt the "pains" (though they weren't painful yet) progress so I downloaded a contraction timer (called Full Term on the app store - worked great for me) and started timing them. I got called into a work meeting so I went in for an hour during lunch, came home and decided to go walking with my dad a couple of hours later. As I walked around the track I had to physically slow down as I could feel the contractions getting longer and stronger. Came home, more timing and walking around the house. I had a "bloody show" which I took as the sign that this was probably the real deal! Showered, and sipped on ti laumoli (tea from lime leaves) while I continued timing and watching TV.  When contractions finally reached a minute long, 5 minutes apart for an hour, I was ready to go to the hospital. The 5 (mins apart) 1 (min long contractions for at least) 1 (hour long) rule was one I learned on the preggo forums.

After my blinder 27 hour labour with my first, I was fully prepared for the long haul. I told my family, I'm in labour but the baby may not come until the weekend! I had a caesarian with my first also and the doctor had told me, that there was a 40% chance I would have a repeat one. So I was ready that it may come to that, even though, I didn't want that.

We checked in to the hospital at about 10pm, I got checked, and the nurse told me I was 8cm dilated! Which for non-moms is pretty close to the end, you dilate from 0 to 10cm, at 10cm you're ready to push. I don't know if it was knowing I was close to pushing, but my pains immediately intensified and before long I was squealing like a wounded seal. My water broke at about 11.30pm, and the nurse checked me again and said my cervix was swelling from premature pushing. "Relax," she said.

Oh just relax you say? If I weren't so hell bent on staying calm, I might have punched her in the face at that moment. Sure, I'll show you how to relax.

My husband took the brunt of my labour pains, as I went from "wounded seal" to "severely injured seal protecting young seal cubs from vicious predator attack" in the final stretch. Lucky for him I cut my nails a few days prior otherwise I'm certain he'd have a few stitches of his own. He reminded me that during one particularly intense contraction, I let out a long loud, "F****CK!" What would you say if you were severely injured and the predators were about to take your seal cubs?

My husband, bless him was trying his best but was a horrible coach saying things to me that just made me want to punch him in the face!  Poor guy couldn't catch a break as he was either saying too much or too little. I may have told him to "Shut the f*ck up once or fifty times." Luckily for all of us, the nurse was an awesome coach, who managed to get me to resist from pushing and breathe through the damn contractions while I dilated the last centimeter.

At 1.00am, they could see the baby's head after I did some practise pushing, and nurse said to me, "you're ready, now get up and walk to the delivery room." Longest 10 meters I ever walked. At 1.27am, she was born, in all her bloody, crying glory.

9lbs, 52cm, and just perfect.

I will spare the most gruesome delivery room details other than to say the words - unmedicated, episiotomy, second tear, and bloody blood blood. We spent an hour on the delivery table doing skin to skin time where she lay quietly on my chest, just being warm and new and beautiful there.

After leaving the delivery room while the doctors checked the baby, my husband lay in the bed next to me, completely spent, because you know he just pushed a baby through his pelvis? He uttered some nonsense about how harrowing it was for him, to which I said, "Honey,  you'd better stop right there and don't say another word." Lucky for him, he listened.

The doctors gave baby a perfect bill of health before she came to hang out with me in the wee hours of the luckiest Friday, 13th ever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Writing randomness

Well, I'm now overdue, and over it but I will spare you another of my preggo rants (!) other than to say that this baby may be more like me than I think, after all - stubborn and don't give a rats ass about doing something other than when she's well and ready. Touche baby, touche. Can't rush perfection as they say. Ia lelei, kope loa. Some good news on the preggo front, in the last 2 weeks, the company I work for instated Maternity Leave as a policy (Hallelujah) we are far from becoming Denmark (1 year off) but today, will I complain? No, I will gladly take those 4 weeks as a great start.  The real question is, did someone from HR read my blog? Lol.

I've been having a laugh at the posts on FB where people are sharing how they met the love of their life, some are downright comedy, others make me smile, or gag, since when did Samoans in general become so open in sharing our "love stories", other than mouthy bloggers, or talking about each other's love stories behind each other's backs or after loads of alcoholic lubricants?  We must truly be in the age of social media. I find myself turning away from oversharing on social media anymore mostly because the space feels too crowded now, and while I enjoy it for the mindless entertainment, I find I'd rather not subject myself to the scrutiny of judging eyes, particularly whose opinions I don't care for. Who needs it?

Anyways, I have been following a Facebook Writers group online with interest.  I don't consider myself a serious writer in any sense since I am not currently pursuing any real writing goals other than to blog at least once a month (ambitious yea? ok, it's really more like a lazy person's goal), although at some point in the future I may. In fact, I feel as though I've forgotten how to form a coherent blog, much of my writing nowadays is ranty or a hodgepodge of randomness, which isn't something that keeps me up at night (lol) but something I notice (and then forget about while I eat a bar of chocolate). My own personal apathy aside, it's pretty cool to see a community of local (mostly women) writers keep each other inspired in pursuit of their passion for writing.

The writer I most admire is probably my late uncle Lemalu Tate Simi, other than obvious bias of being family, his writing always felt authentic, clever, unassuming, and like it was the truth. Much like the man himself. RIP.

I've not written a poem in forever, so here goes nothing.

Activist

People these days,
Wage wars behind digital masks
Pound furiously on keyboards,
to put their grievances on blast

Spit electronic fire
and push buttons to push buttons
Facebook activists
They all are, all of a sudden.

Since when did,
weighing in on the conversation
Equal doing something
Other than laying on your condemnation

Your ill advised, unsolicited
Opinions of what you see fit
In the words of Usher
Don't talk about it, be about it

--

Ok so it sounded ranty but hey, this is a work in progress, lol

Peace be the journey bloggers xo

Friday, January 30, 2015

Star Sign Speculations

So I have a confession to make, I'm a little upset because it's past January 25th and I have not given birth yet. Although I'm not due for another week or so, I was secretly hoping I might because then the baby and I would share our star signs and she would officially be a Capricorn, like me. Being that we have now crossed over into the next Sun sign, my daughter will (most likely) be an Aquarius, a sign I have far less in common with.

I know, it sounds terrible doesn't it? Me being upset because we won't share our star sign. Bad mother award before the baby is even born. Hahaha. Eh, I'm joking. Well, sort of.

Now, I've never really considered myself, particularly "spiritual" or "deep" (that's my husband, damn tree hugger) in fact, I'm fairly type A, practical, facts & face value kind of gal.  BUT, I have a guilty pleasure of judging people solely on their star sign (or at least my interpretation of your star sign). I probably assign way too much weight to it but I feel like I know you (when in fact I don't) based on how the stars were aligned when you were born. My husband and I are polar opposites personality wise, and the zodiac gives me a handy framework to make sense of why he drives me so crazy (in every sense of the word). It also helps me to rationalize and understand my relationships with my mother, my friends, anybody close to me, really.

My mother and I are both Capricorns, so is my boss, Michelle Obama, Elvis Presley and a few other people I admire.  Capricorn is the father sign of the zodiac, driven, hard working, often unreasonable people. We are earth signs (cut and dry, practical people). My husband is a Cancer, the mother sign of zodiac. He is typical of his sign, nurturing, patient, emo!, Cancers are water signs, so they generally go with the flow, and are more relaxed (lazy) in their outlook on life.  My daughter, Lili is an Aries, a fire sign, stubborn, strong, argumentative and ambitious. She fights hard (whether she is right or wrong). We extroverts get along swimmingly. The new baby daughter will be an Aquarius, an Air sign, eccentric, humanitarian and freedom loving (oh boy). In sharing this with my husband he is beyond excited since he thinks she will be more like him (!). My youngest brother is on the cusp of Aquarius & Pisces - he is effortlessly smart (unlike people like me who need to study and prepare really hard for everything), he doesn't like to rock the boat (unlike Lili & I), he is very relaxed about most things (frustrating!), very shy, and generally someone who I am never mad at.

I wonder, will she be like him?

Now all of this is my own speculation, and really a bunch of hogwash that I am indulging in to deal with my control freak tendencies. But it's fun to wonder isn't it? Now, let's let the girl exit the womb first shall we? :)

All that aside, I just pray it's written in the stars that she comes out healthy and happy, and SOON!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Things my husband says

After ordering $17 worth of parts online, and spending hours tinkering and cussing while trying to fix a spare phone and then not getting it to work, he finally gets up and says:

"I'm such a failure, I'm going to go and eat now and stuff my face like an emotional female."

Geez, let it go, Elsa.

Working mommy musings & the Countdown to D day

My daughter is sick with a cough, and she is finally sleeping after a day full of her coughing, and me googling children's cough remedies. I'm flanked by about ten pillows as I write this. Comfort escapes me, I can't sit, I can't lie down, I can't wait to feel normal again. I am trying my darndest to be patient, but being that I suffered a major deficiency of patience even before pregnancy, that plan is doomed.

So we are T minus 3 weeks from being due for this baby. I'm over being pregnant and trying not to freak out over my upcoming labour after the horrific experience I had with my first. I am trying to be "zen" about it, trust my body and go in with a fresh perspective, but we shall see how my resolve holds up. Last time I endured a 27 hour labor, being told to get off the delivery table to go walk a few more rounds, come back push again (which I did without complaint), and then eventually, got wheeled in for a C-section (they found the baby's umbilical cord wrapped around her thigh.  To put it in perspective, my in laws spent more time fussing over my mother who was breaking down at the trauma I was going through, than they spent worrying about me. Heck even I was worried about her. She was in the delivery room and had to leave, my husband had to change shifts with her because she couldn't deal with seeing me go through what I went through.  She maintains that my labor was much more difficult than any of her 4 labors. In spite of all that... I was in some kind of trance the majority of the time that kept me relatively calm.  It was kind of like an out of body experience (don't get me wrong, it was a bloody mess) but I was not the hysterical, panicking version of myself, that I am on a day to day basis.  I didn't cry, I was focused on keeping calm because I didn't want to stress the baby out. All that said, I'm sure my efforts to stay calm will all go to hell this time. Ha!

Keep me in prayers and happy thoughts, will you ladies? Ta.

It being the beginning of the year, and husband and I have been trying to sort out all sorts of grown up decisions like, how much we want to save this year, whether we should consider moving this year, how to file our taxes & how to manage our retirement funds this year (navigating the US tax & retirement schemes feels like venturing into the Labyrinth) , whether we want to buy a house this year and in which country, etc. etc. etc. When did we get so grown up? I'm not sure how I feel about it all, except to say, if I get through the year without squandering the nest egg, with my kids & marriage in one piece, I will call it a success.

Thanks to my week long date with Chikungunya, I was late to start the working year, and after a week in the office, I am still trying to find my bearings, all while the countdown of pending absence looms. It is making me mildly stressed, but it will have to sort itself out, because there is no other choice. I've no doubt the world at work will potter along without me, and it will all be waiting for me when I get back. I have a planning workshop with my staff scheduled in a few days. I'm still planning for the planning workshop, but it's just what it is. It will get done.

I am curious to see how a second child is going to impact my already hectic life. I wonder how I will juggle the demands of a second child with the demands of the job, the husband, not to mention the attention thirsty first child. I've been at my job for 5 years, learnt a lot, and there continue to be learning opportunities but I find myself wondering if I need a change of pace & scenery, not to mention more time at home.  Trying to balance that itch for change with the income needs of a growing family and then lets face it, my insatiable need to conquer the world, which is the real reason I work as hard as I do. Hmmm. Oh well, Rome wasn't built in a day. I guess we'll see how the year unfolds.

Yes, I guess we'll see.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Not so festive season.

It's 2015, already? Boy, does time fly. Except of course when you are 35 weeks and 4 days pregnant, than of course the sands are moving grain by grain painfully slowly through the hour glass of time.

This Christmas season has been rather different than prior ones for me. Other than the obvious fact that it was a sober one for me (#pityparty). Because I felt too heavy to travel, we agreed we would spend it in American Samoa with my husbands family.  I thought, "it'll be nice, spend time with the in laws, save money by not travelling, and have a quiet one and get lots of rest." I however, found myself to be quite restless, despite being home for almost 2 weeks now. I gave my babysitter some hard earned, well deserved time off for the season, and stayed home with my handful of hyper daughter. After 1 day on our own, we checked into a hotel, so she could have something to do all day to tire her out (swim) and I wouldn't have to cook or clean. It was also husband and I's wedding anniversary but come on, we all know the real reasons.

Christmas Day was all about watching my kid open her presents, the pure glee and joy on her face was enough to make me cry (damn, hormones). Especially being so far away from my parents and siblings on Christmas - something I've done maybe once or twice before and vowed never to do again. The food game was quite average this Christmas, I hit up hotel buffets on more than one occasion.  All while enviously eyeing Tia's Europe adventure pics and my parents Aussie Holiday pics. #puke #passmeanotherbreadroll

Being home this long (which I don't think I've done since I had my last baby) I have found myself "nesting" on some fuggen mother goose level. Aside from cleaning, I have more or less refurnished most of my house, new rugs, curtains, sheets, bathmats, kitchen stuff, beds, oh and lots of baby stuff. My grand idea to save lots of money this Christmas was indeed well intended but died a dusty death along with my old curtains and rugs.  Totally overcompensated for not indulging in my usual gluttonous ways during the Holidays. As a friend said to me, at least you've spent the money on useful things. If you were drinking you would've spent it all on booze. Yes, point taken.

Oh and to top it all off, I got Chikungunya!

My, aren't we ranty first thing in the new year.

Yea, happy 2015!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Car ride convos

F: I saw you talking to S
A: Oh yea, he said he got married last month.
F: Nice. Big wedding?
A: No, he said it was a court wedding.
F: Oh. How come?
A: I dunno, he said no kids & she's not pregnant.
F: So why'd they get married?
A: I don't know, love?

Pause.  Followed by simultaneous laughter.

Imagine that, being so in love that you rush a court wedding, just because.  Awww.

Whatever, I bet she's preggers.

Fai mai ai Forbes

Abilities wither under fault finding, blossom under encouragement.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pass the chocolate.

So, I am flying to NZ in a few days. Big little brother is getting married next week. It means I will miss my office Xmas parties, thank god for that. I can't be arsed trying to find a dress, spend money on hair and make up and then sit around and not get drunk. Yea, no thanks. Although, brother's wedding will be something like that, at least I will be able to stop at KFC on the way home after the party.  I'm excited for him & his fiance to be getting married, it's such a fun journey isn't it? right? no? Ok, let's let the kids have a great party and wish them luck. It's all we can do.

I'm trying to find a slimming outfit for when I get on the plane and tell them I'm 6 months. I will throw a major "I'm so offended" tantrum if they suggest I'm further along and don't let me board. "Listen lady, I really need this trip, you have no idea."

I'm knocking on 30 weeks along. That's like single digit weeks counting down soon til a new human enters my life forever! I had a dream about her last night. She was chubbier than Lili and all I could think was, shit the labour is going to be a farken nightmare!

I feel as though I am not ready for this, and yet I'm like, ok kid, let's do the damn thang! (Ah, bipolar as ever).  I have no crib, no baby clothes, no car seat, no stroller, no nothing really, but for some reason I feel it will just all come together and I need not stress about, because stress is bad for the baby... woooooosaaaah... pass me a beer, I mean, chocolate.

The thought of two kids running around gives me the warm fuzzies for about 30 seconds and then I just sigh dejectedly because I'm tired of chasing them around in my head. The other crazy thing I'm dealing with is the irrational fear that something will happen to my child. Some of my friends have lost their infants recently :-( and my heart convulses every time it crosses my mind, which is too often for comfort.

Husband is excited, Lili is super excited, the baby sitter is excited, and I am tired as a farken too busy 30 week, over being pregnant, freaking out, working woman is gonna get, but yes excited. You know, I'm so excited but you just can't tell. Yea. That's me. Super. Fricking. Excited.

Eh, pe ua ka valea ea. Ka fia igu. Shit.