Monday, January 30, 2012

I Guess It Could Be Worse

The midwife said I have gestational diabetes.

I'm not even sure why she's a midwife. I thought midwives meet patients in their homes; I only see her at the medical office. It feels weird calling her that -- yet that's what she is. She doesn't even smile. Interesting.

For those of you who don't know, gestational diabetes is diabetes women get when they're pregnant. Once the baby is born, my blood sugar and insulin levels will go back to normal.

I had it with Almonds, and it was not fun. Prick my fingers 4x/day; cut out sweets and candy the whole time; even cut back on carbs and fruits. After a month of dieting and exercising and crashing because of lack of sugar and STILL no good glucose counts, I just called it quits to it all and pushed to have the baby early. I know, it's very selfish of me to neglect the baby like that. But man...

Anyway, I have to keep reminding myself that it could be worse. I only have ten weeks left before Chip is born -- only ten weeks to do this diet instead of the 16 I had before. I'm able to control the diabetes just on diet alone (and exercise, of course); some women need insulin. Some women get preeclampsia with gestational diabetes (super high blood pressure that affects the pregnancy) -- my blood pressure in general is super low. I could be on bed rest. My baby could be dying. My baby could be dead.

Ok ok, that's pretty dramatic. But honestly, I really COULD be worse off than I am now. So I just need to be grateful that this gestational diabetes is something that I can control, and easily.

On another slightly good note, because of the diabetes, I need another ultrasound to make sure the baby hasn't grown too big. So tomorrow Jobi will get to come with me and see our little Chip. I'm excited for that; he hasn't seen the boy with his own eyes yet.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Sapi Day!

her favorite dessert and go-to lunch:
rice krispies treats and fried egg sandwich w/ cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise on toasted bread
 This was what I made today for lunch, totally not realizing that yesterday was the anniversary of my sister's passing.  I think she would've been proud of me because she of all people knows I'm no cook.

I also made these yesterday:

panikeke -- bear with me; mine never look good
I would say that cooking more has been a New Year's Resolution of mine this year, but that's not true.  I'm cooking out of default; we have no money to eat out anymore.  I have no choice but to cook more. :-)  Amazing the things you can do when you have no kupe (COO-pay = "money" in Samoan).

Food was a big part of my sister's life.  I mean, food is a big part of ANY Polynesian's life, but she took to food like I took to piano: as a hobby-turned-craft that she loved developing and sharing with others.  Especially our father... she was the biggest Daddy's Girl of all of us, and every time she knew he was having a bad day, she'd always make him something to eat, just the way he liked.  Before she went home after our oldest sister's husband passed away, she took a job as a sous chef at a Japanese fusion restaurant.  She had other cooking jobs before, but that one, she said, was her dream job.  So on Sapi Day, my siblings and I celebrate with food: going to her favorite local restaurant, eating garlic shrimp and orange chicken or pad thai noodles, or making a choice dish of hers.  Since her taste buds were always more refined than mine (I used to eat like a haole), I usually keep to her simpler pleasures, such as rice krispies treats and egg sandwiches.  They bring happy memories to me of her in her everyday life, and I'm grateful that I can always remember her in those ways.

So Happy Sapi Day to everyone!  Go eat something good!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

She's So Random

Blondie was looking at the letters on my Army National Guard t-shirt I was wearing yesterday.  As she was looking, she started calling out random letters.

"N! ... G! ... D! ... O! ... L!"

After a few seconds of listening to her, I realized she was trying to read my shirt.

So I pointed to the word ARMY.

"What letter is this?" (pointing to 'A')
What letter is this?" (pointing to 'R')

I looked at her and noticed she was indeed looking at the Y, not the R that I was pointing to.
Hey, you, follow me!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Family Picture Fail

Before I named this blog "'Alu 'Auha," I named it "Dang Langis."  And for good reason.  Some things we do in this little family of ours is... well, cheap... for lack of a better word.  And sometimes being cheap backfires on us.

For example: while sorting through my digital files, I saw a picture I didn't expect to see.  But first, a background.  Last year Jobi took me to Iao Valley for Christmas and we took a family picture.  You can read the post by clicking here.  But here is the picture we took Christmas 2010:

Not bad, right?  Especially considering we just had our camera and tripod and took it ourselves.  It's not as professional-looking as this one that we took at Sears just one month earlier:

but the former was $200-something cheaper than the latter.  So I told Jobi we should just take our own family photos from now on.
Oh the cheapness of me and Jobi.

This year my parents in Samoa asked all of their kids to send family/individual photos to them for Christmas, so back to Iao Valley we went.  I charged the camera for four hours before we left, dressed us all, packed the camera and tripod, and went back to the same benches that we sat a year earlier.  I set up the tripod and took this dumb photo:

I was actually surprised that this photo came out, because right after I snapped, something happened...
the camera died.

The four hours I charged it did absolutely nothing.  The LCD screen said "Battery Exhausted" and then went black.  And that was that.

Surrounded by outdoorsy tourists dressed to hike and swim, we looked Sunday best for nothing.


Then I took a whole bunch of pics from my camera phone because I didn't want this trip to be an entire waste.  I tried to make the photos look as nice as possible, but... well... this is what I came up with and you can decide if they're worth sending to my parents or not.

Oh, and since I wasn't in any pictures at Iao (and I still only had a camera phone to work with), I took pics of myself when we got home:

Yeah, I'm not sending these either.

Sorry, Mom and Dad.  We'll get a family picture to you soon, I promise.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Filing, Filing, Filing

I make a good secretary
or bookkeeper
because I am obsessed with filing and organizing.

Just offices, though.
I'm no good with organizing a bedroom, or a living room, or a kitchen, or a classroom.
I'm not sure why.  It's like I have mad organizational skills, but... not really.
I can't for the life of me tell you the best place to keep keys and shoes and extra rolls of toilet paper,
but I can sit for hours -- or even days -- until all files in a file cabinet are sorted, labeled, and filed away
or all my digital music is not only consolidated, but also properly labeled by title, artist, album, and in the playlist I want it to be in.
I'm the one who files our taxes because I keep all the income and deduction forms and receipts neatly tucked away somewhere, and when the filing is done, I save like 3 copies of our returns.
I would even take the time to make sure all my digital photos are all rotated upright.
How OCD, huh.

Oh, I'm also great with books in a library.  Just ask my high school librarian.

Why am I mentioning this?  Because that's what I'm doing right now... organizing all my files on my computer and external hard drive.

I have a lot of random songs that I got from family, and I don't even like half of them.  And I have lots of good photos that I want to touch up and use for different things, but I have to find them among all the "IMAG000" and "DSCN" and junk pictures that I didn't delete.  Not to mention I have a stack of papers that need to go into our filing cabinet.  So I've been a little on edge all day just thinking about all of these things, and now I've decided to just go for it and get it done tonight.

Ok, I'm reading this post as I'm typing, and now I think I'm nuts.  Don't I have anything substantial to blog about?

Oh yeah... I'm supposed to post my Laie vacation.  Dang, that'll have to wait until my digital filing spree is done.  I wonder if this is the beginning of my nesting stage as a pregnant woman.

Anyway, off to my filing, then I'll come back again soon with something at least slightly more interesting for you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Making This Year Count

Did the new year really come 10 days ago?

This is probably my fifth attempt at posting a new year's post, and I'm hoping it will be my last.  I've been thinking, a lot like you, about new year's resolutions, and I've decided to forget them for the following reasons:

I'm pregnant, and getting more and more pregnant every day
I forget to do things, thanks to the pregnancy
I get lazy -- ok, I am lazy
I'd feel REALLY bad for myself if I didn't complete them
then I'd just wallow in my self-pity and never get anything done

Then I read this article from "Pick the Brain" about making every day a fresh start instead of every year, and it got me thinking.  Why should I only make every year a fresh start?  Why shouldn't I just try for every month, or week, or day?  Looking at every day as eagerly as I do every new year seems much more tangible and positive than the alternative, and maybe -- just maybe -- the disillusionment of New Year's Resolutions won't ever happen, because with only 24 hours the time is too short to mope and give up before the next day comes.

So "hang the code, and hang the [resolutions]! They're more like guidelines, anyway!"
(Name that movie!)

This year is going to be big for us.  This year is going to manifest (at least to me) our capacity for success in this world as a family.  2010 was depressing.  2011 almost seemed like Jobi and I had given up.  But 2012 feels different.  It really does.  We are on our own.  We are struggling financially, and yet we are making it.  Jobi's deployment to Afghanistan is delayed, so we are looking at our future with new eyes.  Our girls are growing, and we need to prepare them for education instead of just caring for their basic needs.  We are going to have 3 kids.  Shoot, we even have a new car!  I want us to make this year really meaningful, for myself, for my marriage, for my family.  I want to be better.  I want to be useful.  And I want to take it one day at a time.

Of course, I do have at least ONE resolution for this year.  According to this "Pick the Brain" article, there is a difference between resolutions and goals.  And I personally do think that resolutions, though ultimately unattainable because of lack of structure and finality, are important to make.  Resolutions are like personal creeds, something to continually strive for, never having an ending because they can keep on going, and the more you fulfill the resolution, the better a person you become.  Resolutions are never-ending progress.  So here is my one resolution this year:

give back.give forward

By the end of last year, I realized that we wouldn't be where we are today without the help of others in our lives whom I can only describe as angels.  Jobi and I don't feel worthy or deserving of such kindness, and yet we've been showered with it time and time again.  So it's only right that I become the giver now, to show my gratitude for those miracles, and to show others around us who are struggling that they are not alone as well.  This year I will give back to those who have given to us, and I will find others in need to give to as well.  That is how God blesses us, when we serve others. And I want to earn my blessings, not feel entitled to them.

Ok, now that I've finally said my peace on resolutions and the new year, I'm going to start on my goals for the day...

... the first being to clean my house.

What are your resolutions or goals for 2012?