Sunday, August 28, 2011

Family. . . .Isn't It About TIME??

That's what this past weekend reminded me of. The commercial w/the punch line: 'Family. . . .isn't it about T.I.M.E??

My three little amigos earlier in the week getting their well checks

This is all Savou did @ the doctor's office. . .messed w/the door the WHOLE time. Lol

Sila all ready to get her well check before starting kindergarten :D

Baby Hoko being silly!! :D

With the craziness of school being back in session, this weekend was so nice to be able to wind down & enjoy the company of our families. Friday came & I was able to spend most of it getting things done for the kids. The younger three spent Wed & Thu @ my parents place cause I had class. I missed them so much, especially with Savou's new potty training adventure that he's been on. I had a feeling that Savou might go backwards on his potty training since he seems to have it set in his mind that he does whatever he wants when he's with grandma. So I was pretty worried. When we had to head to Salt Lake on Thu for the girls' dance practice, we picked up the three younger ones & came home with them since I didn't have class on Fri. I found them a pediatrician at McKay Dee Hospital where my OBGYN is located. I was on my way out of one of my check ups when I saw the sign & office for the kids. So I google'd it when I got home & called them up to see if any of the pediatricians were taking any new patients. And I got lucky cause out of the four there, only one of them was accepting new patients & it was only cause she's a new pediatrician herself. And they just happened to have an opening for Sila Friday morning.

Sila has had trouble hearing for a couple of years now. She had a hearing test done back in '09 & they determined that she had mild/moderate hearing loss. She needed to get tubes in her ears, but unfortunately we weren't able to at the time cause her Medicaid ran out & we didn't have any insurance. But she's back on it now so they were able to squeeze her in for an appt that morning so that she can get a referral from her pediatrician to see an ENT (ear, nose, & throat) specialist. By the time I got off the phone with the doctor's office, we had less than an hour to her appt. I was deep cleaning our home all the while making doctor's appointments on the phone so I hurried up & finished up my cleaning, rushed the kids through their breakfasts, & hurried them into the shower so we wouldn't be late. But we were still fifteen min late. Luckily they still took us. We got our referral & Sila now has her hearing test appt set for next week. Which right afterwards she will be seeing the ENT specialist. By the time we got home, I was ready for a nap. And so to my bed I went. But only for a short while cause the girls came home & we were off to Costco to get some CHEAP dinner. :D With all this EXTRA weight I've put on, it's no wonder I can't hardly keep my eyes open for long let alone be up & walking around much. Amazing what an extra thirty pounds will do to ya. Ugh. . . . .

With that said, I can't help, but throw this in on this post on how absolutely ANXIOUS I am to be in the last stretch of this pregnancy so I can finally get back on my workout routine. Being that I'm a student here @ Weber, I'm going to be taking FULL advantage of the fact that we have a state of the art fitness facility. And I'm going back to VARIETY. Swimming laps, water aerobics, zumba, running, weights & all that good stuff. :D I can't wait. Just talking about it makes me so happy & able to get thru the day. Especially with all the stair climbing I do on campus, it's quite depressing how out of breath it always leaves me. I'm not used to that kinda gasping for air. Lol. But I'm definitely gonna treat myself to a NICE pair of running shoes so I can make sure that I get the best results out of my workout sessions. :D

Anyways, we finally made it to my parents place. We weren't there too long before it was time to head out to my little cousin, Siale's, football game. He plays for Cottonwood High. It was so nice to be out. The weather was perfect. It was overcast & there was even a breeze that kept us all cool & made watching the game really enjoyable. The kids had a blast being out. We ended up leaving the game a little early cause Savou was ready to go. His two year old nature can't comprehend the MILLIONS of reasons why it's too dangerous for him to be playing on the bleachers so he found the exit & started heading for the van. Can you imagine?? An eight month pregnant woman trying helplessly to chase her two year old son down?? So not a pretty picture. But when he finally decided to stop, I caught up with him, walked back to call the rest of the tribe, grab our stuff & we were out. I told my parents that that was the LAST high school football game for us for a while. Little league we can do since they're always at a park on flat land. Much more safer for the likes of Savou. When we got back to my parents place, I was EXHAUSTED!! I had the kids change into their pj's, turned off all the lights, & we were all in bed ready to end another night. I can't even remember if we said prayer. I woke up to missed calls from Hoko that I didn't even hear, yet my phone was lying right by my ear & was NOT on 'vibrate.' Wow!! I was pooped, to say the least.

I did, however, wake up to Hoko's morning wake up call for me. Lol. He had to drive out to Atlanta to pick up a boat for work. It's about a two hour drive from where he's at now. And by the time he called me, it was 8 am my time & he was already on his way back to South Carolina. He said he figured that I was tired since I didn't answer the night before so he wasn't sure if I was up yet. But he knew that I needed to go cake shopping with my mom for Savou's birthday next weekend. So I got up & my mom was already up & ready. We headed out the door & my mom said for us to go by McDonalds so she can buy hot cakes for the kids to eat. She's seriously the BEST!! I love being with my parents. After we dropped off the kids breakfast, we headed to a bakery downtown. I don't even know what it's called cause it has a french name & it seems so fancy. But my mom loves going there for their variety of desserts they have available. We decided to have breakfast there & we were able to just talk about things that are going on in our lives. It was very refreshing. After that my mom asked which cake I wanted to taste test & I told her so she paid for a slice for the both of us to share. Which btw, we weren't able to finish even half of it cause we were so stuffed. But we made a decision on his cake & she ordered it & it'll be ready for pick up Saturday morning. Once we got back to my parents place, I had to run to Walmart to pick up a bday gift for my handsome nephew, Lucky. He was having a pool party right down the street from my parents house which was so convenient. We had such a blast celebrating his party with our families. I don't think my kids ever got out of the pool. Even Savou has become a pro at knowing that he can float with his life jacket in the deep end so he wasn't scared at all. He was floating from one end of the pool to the other. Paddling his feet & arms like he was a seasoned swimmer. :D And I was such a PROUD mom. I kept following him around everywhere & even got in the pool so I can swim with him, but he was not having it. He sternly claimed his independence & while it's the cutest thing in the world, it's also the saddest. :( He's growing up too fast. But I guess no complaining cause we do have another little one on the way. And I'm getting really excited for the arrival of our little boy. :D I can't say that I've felt that way the whole time. It's been quite the opposite. But I'm grateful to have been able to get thru my not so happy days & onto some brighter ones. Thanks to the eye opening conversations I've had with my husband on more than one occasion. :D

After Lucky boi's bday party, we made our way back to Ogden to prepare for the sabbath. And I don't know how it slipped my mind that we had stake conference. But it did. In a way it's kinda good that I forgot cause I probably would've taken advantage of the fact that there was no church & stayed at my parents house another night so I could relish in the fact that I wouldn't have to cook. And also that my kids & I can actually enjoy a home cooked meal since that term is pretty much foreign in my household right now. Which is pretty sad cause my kids are feeling the full effects of it. They are so not used to eating out or eating whatever's in the kitchen, ie., bread, saimini, cookies, crackers, nothing. . . . . .I think we're all anxiously anticipating the day I have the baby for our family lives to get back to some kind of normalcy. But we're also SUPER excited & can't wait to see what baby #7 looks like. :D

Things weren't looking too promising this morning when I woke up to the clock on my cell phone reading 8:00 am. I grabbed the reminder flyer that I got from church last Sunday to see what time stake conference was starting & it said 9 am. I was like, UGH!! We're not gonna make it. But then I heard a voice in my head saying to get the kids ready & go. You will be hearing from an apostle of God & you need as much instruction as you can get. Especially when it's specific to your stake. Take your kids. I immediately got out of bed & started waking the kids up. We quickly got ready & headed to the Browning Center at WSU where our conference was being held. We were about twenty min late, but we made it nonetheless. After treading the four flights of stairs, we finally got to our seats up on the balcony where they were sending all the late comers. I packed the kids' snacks, notebooks, crayons, pencils & pens so that they would be occupied while I tuned in to the messages that were being shared. And all was well for the most part. Until Savou got antsy & wasn't trying to sit still. So Aaliyah & I took turns taking him out for the last fifteen min or so. Not too bad. Once conference came to an end, I snapped a couple of pictures of the kids & then we headed home. The kids ate their leftover nuggets & fries from the night before & I headed straight for my bed for a nap.

A couple of hours later, I got a call from Hoko. He said that him & Norman went to visit Maile in North Carolina after church since he wasn't going to be coming home for Labor Day weekend. They spent the day out there with him & then he called me once they were back. We talked about everything that I got out of conference & he told me about their sacrament meeting. He said how it's the only day out of the week that he truly feels at home because of the fact that the church is the same everywhere. He loves being able to have that piece of home with him & it's his favorite day of the week. Wow!! Definite progress for us & I'm grateful to him for making these kinds of decisions in his life. I have to say that we've definitely come a long way & I know we've got so much more to go, but I'm so excited to be sharing this journey with the man of my dreams. He fulfills every need of mine & goes above & beyond the call of duty in his role as a husband, father, provider, priesthood holder, friend, brother, son, member of society & so forth. It's taken years of growth, trust & constant work to be able to get to this point in our lives & I love him so much. I really feel as if I'm able to overlook all the petty things, the judgements that used to come so easily are so foreign now & the absolute love I had for him in the beginning & all the good that made me fall for him in the first place are right in front of my face once more. And the thing that's stuck in my head is the constant reminder & evidence of the love between siblings. It never fails time & again the love that I see between my husband & his siblings. Every family has their ups & downs & this family is not an exception, but the love they have for each other is very much Christ like. When I see them interacting with each other, they overlook all the flaws & are able to see ONLY the good. And I love it. They remind me of how I should be. They humble me & help me to see my husband thru their eyes. Thru the eyes of the Savior. And I love them all the more for it.

Well, it's been a busy, but very fulfilling weekend. I'm grateful for all our families & friends in our lives. They are a great support system & we feel extremely blessed to be so close to them all. :D Til next time. . . . .

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

1st Official Day of School. . . . .

Today was my first official day of school (refer to previous post). I got up early this morning, showered, dressed & was out the door by a little after 7. I got to school early so I can work on some of my homework from my online classes before my class started at 9. Hoko called me around 7:30 & we spoke for about 15 min. I asked him how the weather was out there since he's on the east coast & there's so much going on with all the hurricane scare. And then the earthquake in Virginia?? :( But surprisingly he replied that it was a beautiful day there. A little windy, but all in all. . . .he had no complaints. I silently thanked the Lord for Hoko's safety.

After class, I headed straight for my doctor's appointment that's right across the street from campus. Had to get checked from my doctor about my due date since this baby's measuring so big. My due date was moved from Oct 24th to the Oct 10th. But they'll start monitoring me really closely once/if I reach Oct. The ultrasound results show that I'm either having a REALLY BIG baby or I'm probably due a lot earlier than was expected. I'm hoping for the latter.

When I got home, I was exhausted. Literally. I walked in, checked on the kids & made sure they had what they needed & headed straight for my bed & knocked out. One of the perks of having so many girls is how naturally considerate they are. They kept peeking in on me & I could hear them whispering to each other & the young ones to 'shhhh. . . .be quiet. Mommy's really tired.' And it wasn't so much that I was mentally exhausted, like I know I will be once this semester gets going, but more so that I was physically drained. I knew without a doubt that it had everything to do with all the stair-climbing & uphill walking I had done that morning on campus. And all I kept thinking was, 'Why in the world would you build a university on a mountain side?' Lol. But that's just because I'm so pregnant right now & carrying around this EXTRA BIG BABY with every step I take is a workout all in itself. :D But once I give birth, I will be absolutely grateful for the extra workout I get to enjoy cause I'm gonna have a ton of EXTRA calories to burn. And I'm so anticipating & even anxious to get back on my workout routine!! I'm so EXCITED to be able to wipe the dust off all my sweat 'fits & get back in shape as soon as I get the okay from my doctor. Talking about it makes me so giddy inside & I can't wait!! :D

1st of Day School. . . . .

So yesterday was supposed to be my FIRST official day of classes for this fall semester, but a trip to the bookstore changed all that. I had already planned to head out of the house early enough so that I can go to the bookstore, pick up my textbook & then head to class. Well, when I got to the bookstore & found out that this particular class required a BUNDLE set that included a textbook, study guide & two other things all wrapped up in one. . . .I already had a feeling it was gonna cost me an arm & a leg. And it LITERALLY DID!! $310 to be exact!! Holy crap. . . .that's about how much it is to take the class!! Ugh. . . .So I decided to drop the class & pick up a different one & leave this highly EXPENSIVE class til next semester. Read on & I'll expound further on why it's gonna make a difference.

I thought I was all set for this semester, financial aid wise, but I got a surprise email last Friday stating that my financial aid was suspended. Apparently I didn't take enough classes this past summer semester in order to bring my GPA to where it needs to be. I was feeling so devastated on Friday. I spoke with the financial aid counselor & my only option was to pay for this semester or seek a private loan through my bank. Never mind that I was completely unaware of the fact that if I would've taken a couple of more classes, it would've been enough to pull my GPA out of the hole. Lesson learned that the past always catches up with you. Let me explain.

I attended SLCC seven years ago for two semesters in a row. I was pregnant with baby #4, working & tried to handle wayyyy too much & ended up failing miserably both semesters!! :( I wasn't too focused on school in the first place & really only went because I felt that's where my parents wanted me to be. Not because it's where I should've wanted to be. So because of those two miserable semesters & the lack of focus back then, I am paying for it now. I felt sick to my stomach just thinking about having to explain this nightmare to Hoko. He already works so hard to provide for our family in just our temporal needs alone that I didn't wanna burden him with my tuition as well. :( I decided before talking to him that if we didn't have the means for me to attend this semester, it was okay. I would wait til I gave birth & then I would find a temp job that would allow me to pay for a semester & then return to school. And even as I already finalized this decision in my head, I was so scared of the possibility that I may never return. Or that it may be YEARS before I'm in a position to do so. But how could I ask so much of him? I was absolutely torn.

I picked up the kids from my mom's & we headed to the park. I packed a book with me & read while the kids played on the playground. Hoko called me when he got off work & we talked about everything that went on during the day & other things as well. He asked me if everything was set with my schooling & I spilled my heart out to him. I was so emotional (keep in mind that I am in the last stretch of my pregnancy). He was quiet for a minute & I could tell he was contemplating what our next move would be. He was probably even praying about what our options were & when he finally spoke, his voice was calm & even. He reassured me that everything would be alright. That we needed to make the necessary sacrifices in order for me to stay in school. He echoed my fears about stopping now & not knowing when I could go back or even if I ever would. I felt such a peaceful burning with in me & knew that it was the spirit of the Lord confirming the truth of all Hoko was saying. I was so utterly grateful for such a loving Heavenly Father & for his leading Hoko & I into each others' lives. I can honestly say that I have no BIGGER supporter than that of my husband's & I'm truly honored & humbly blessed to be his wife.

I tell him everyday that he's my best friend. And I mean it more than ever before. No other person knows my most deepest & most secretive thoughts. And it's not so much that it's a secret more so than it is my insecurities that I would never share with anyone else. Although I know that everyone on this earth has their different issues that they deal with, I'm not at all open about mines. I've been hurt & crossed too many times to be an open book. And it's taught me how hard Satan works to move the work of opposition forward just as much as we work to be happy. I absolutely believe that happiness is a choice & I'll take this option over opposition any day. Even though I do have my days, weeks & even months when it seems that opposition & the adversary are getting the best of me. . . .I hope that I can always remember what I've been taught growing up in the gospel. That I may give my burdens to the Lord & trust in Him to lighten my load.

I love my husband so much & appreciate his simple nature in always being able to be there for me when I need him most. He's the only person that I listen to when I'm being stubborn & I'm learning over the years that it's not about me. It's about US. Funny how we seem to love learning things the hard way sometimes. The Lord always reminds me how human I am & I'm quickly humbled.

The first day of school ended up being tolerable & surprisingly, I'm feeling really refreshed at the start of this semester. :D With my husband by my side, I feel like things fall into place no matter what obstacles are thrown at us.

Monday, August 22, 2011

CountDown. . . .

The countdown is on & I'm so anticipating the day when my baby gets to come home for a weekend!! :D 10 more days *YAY* I've missed him so much!! We're usually really good about trying not to let too much time go by without us seeing each other, but this time around has been utterly impossible to make it happen with me being in school as well as being so prego right now. I've been counting down the days FOREVER & have been tempted so many times to DIP into the savings acct & buy me a ticket out there to see him. So pats on the back for me & a round of applause please since I've been doing so TREMENDOUSLY well at resisting temptations!! Lol. NOT!! All I have to do is pay our monthly bills to bring me back to reality & remind me why we're making all these sacrifices in the first place.

But I'm grateful to my hardworking husband & kids for all that they've been doing in order to keep our family somewhat sane. This pregnancy has 'by far' been the MOST difficult one for me & I know it's because it's the first one that Hoko hasn't been with me thru it all. Makes me wonder how I ever thought I could get through this alone, but I guess it's happening so it actually is possible. But I wouldn't recommend it & I'm never doing it again.

The first day of fall semester started today & it was CRAZY hectic on campus. I was glad to be in & out of there this morning. I dropped one of my classes & replaced it with another that would require me to be on campus less days of the week. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be accepted to the online one so that I may spend even LESS time on campus. I already have two online classes & two on campus. Ideally, I would have all my classes online & hopefully by the end of this week things pan out that way. If not, I'll have to make due with what I got & I won't complain about it. I think I've complained about EVERY possible thing imaginable to my husband since this pregnancy started. Which is so not me & I've been miserable because of it. So I'm trying to take the optimistic approach & flip things around. We'll see how that goes. . . . .it's been working out pretty well for the past week. But I'm not holding myself to anything cause pregnancy hormones are too unpredictably crazy to hold to any kinda promises. And I know enough not to mess with that. Lol.

Here's to the next 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 days left til my baby comes home. :D

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Weeks Of??

Two weeks is simply how much time I've been able to cherish & enjoy in between summer semester coming to an end & fall semester starting up. I have been doing what I enjoy MOST. Reading & spending time with families & friends. It's amazing how busy life has been with just my growing family & being in school full time. I've actually been able to enjoy spending time with my families & friends at a whole 'nother level. I guess I've grown accustomed to a different level of appreciation for those that I'm surrounded by. Their love & support have been nothing, but a strength to me. And I can't deny that I've needed that a lot lately.

School starts for both the kids & I next week & I'm actually looking forward to it. As exhausted as I've been feeling lately. . . . .it's a little bizarre to be looking forward to something that I'm certain is only going to increase my level of weariness so I'm not quite 100% on how long these feelings of 'optimism' will last. Lol. But I'll milk it for as long as I can. :D

Today I spent the day at the Holladay Rec Center Pool with the kids. It was GREAT!! They have an olympic size lap pool that I was able to get a great workout in. I did a couple of laps & was surprised that my little Lote was right by my side the WHOLE time. :D I've missed working out so much. I'm not even gonna lie. I workout a couple of times a week, but it's nothing like I'm used to & it's been so challenging for me. I am so envious of all the MANY MANY runners I see on a daily basis taking advantage of the cool summer mornings with a nice run. My feet can't wait to hit the pavement.

I've found a new LDS author who writes fictions that I've fallen in love with. So far, I've only been reading Anita Stansfields books, but came across Traci Abramson's Saint Squad series & couldn't get through them quickly enough to quench my curiosity & excitement. :D I went through that series of five books total & eagerly got started on her other series that consisted of only three books, but oddly enough, I found them a lot more enjoyable even though she had come out with that series before the Saint Squad one. I can't wait for her to come out with some more great reads. I went through a total of EIGHT books during the two week break & felt completely rejuvenated. :D

The kids & I spent a lot of time outdoors with me trying to endure the unbearable summer heat while the kids splashed around in the lake or a pool or in our backyard & we had a blast. :D I love them so much for their help that they've been able to provide me throughout this pregnancy. They've always been my strength, along with my husband.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bday Breakfast For A Special Somebody. . . . .

Last Tuesday was my beautiful niece's birthday. She turned 13 yrs old. She has been such an amazing person to have as a part of our lives since the day she entered it. She is very soft spoken unless you happen to be someone by the name of Gemini. Lol. Which is her little brother who she can't stand even though we all think the world of him. Hahahaha. . . . .I guess it's a sibling thing. Nevertheless, we love her for always being so humble in her ways. She never asks for anything. And I mean it. . . . .I can't remember a single time in her life that she's ever asked me for anything. She took forever to finally START to come out of her shell. She's very timid, keeps to herself, & doesn't like to trouble anyone. She's AMAZING!! Her simple ways have always been what's kept us all very overprotective over her.

As she's getting older, it's been kinda hard to know what means a lot to her when it comes to special days such as her birthday. But my mom & I thought she would love to just be taken out to breakfast with just us & no one else. She's really sentimental so that's exactly what we did for her. We took her to breakfast at Market Street Grill & chatted with her about anything & everything. After breakfast, she was all smiles & thanked us & it was as simple as that. I hope & pray that she will continue to be the smart & loving person that she has always been. We love you so much Mercedez Vainuku!! :D