Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If you want a surprise, don't tell my dad.

My dad is a mixed bag of enigmas.  Sometimes I go years thinking he does things for absolutely no reason, only to glimpse the illogical logic in his thinking years after the fact.  But that's neither here nor there...I'm just prepping you for the ridiculousness to follow.  Bottom line: my dad does awesome, crazy things, and the way he gives gifts makes me laugh. 

Let me just say, first of all, that I really do love the presents my dad gives.  They are usually thoughtful -- or at the very least, they are purchased from my list so that I will definitely like them, and, depending on whether he went shopping on his payday or not, they are also frequently rather...um...bounteous.  The best example I can think of to illustrate this point happened on my 16th birthday.  The year that I turned 16, sweater vests were the "it" item of the year.  Argyle, solid colors, flowers...you name it.  Sweater vests of all colors and varieties were very in style.  So, a couple of weeks before my birthday, my dad and I were window shopping at the mall, and I happened to point out a sweater vest or two that I really liked.  Fast forward to the morning of my birthday.  I distinctly remember sitting on my parents' bed, anxiously awaiting my presents (because I knew that one of them was the paperwork for my DRIVER'S LICENSE!), and in walked my dad with a MOUNTAIN of presents in his arms.  I was speechless.  As I tore into the gifts, I was really excited to find that he had purchased BOTH of the sweater vests I had taken a liking to when we shopped at the mall.  So, I opened the next box...score! another cool sweater vest!  And another box...wow...ANOTHER great sweater vest!  I'm sure you get the idea by now, so let's skip the rest of the unwrapping and I'll just tell you the end results: Ten.  Ten sweater vests.  TEN SWEATER VESTS.  And the best part?  My mom said, as I was opening the last box, "If you can believe this, I made him put back HALF of the ones he picked out."  HAHAHAHA...yep, that's my dad.  Why settle for one when you can find ten?!  So, keeping this story in mind...

This morning, I'm sitting on my couch chuckling to myself about another facet of the way my dad gives presents.  I think I've mentioned my little brother Steven, who sometimes wraps his gifts in whatever random nasty thing he finds lying around when he goes to look for wrapping paper: old blankets, trash bags, stuffed inside the pocket of an old pair of pants...you get the idea.  He typically gives AMAZING gifts, but you'd never know it by looking at the wrapper.  Well, the more I thought about it, I realized that Steven comes by this crazy habit quite naturally because my dad does the exact same thing.  The only difference between them is, Steven can keep a secret when it comes to gifts, whereas my dad is THE WORST secret keeper EVER.  No, really...this guy cannot keep a secret to save his life as far as gifts are concerned.  He called me last week, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi Pod...what's up?  [I call him "Pod," which is short for "Padre."]
Pod: Hey...I got your Christmas present today!  Wanna know what it is?
Me: Nah, I think I'd like to be surprised on Christmas Day.
Pod: Well, I'm not gonna wrap it, so it really won't be that much of a surprise.  I think you'll really like it.  You'll probably want to know what it is ahead of time, that way you can ask for stuff to go with it.  Wanna know what it is?
Me: (realizing that he is going to keep harassing me until I cave and let him tell me what he bought) Ok, Pod...what's my present?
Pod: A SOLDERING IRON!  I got it for your jewelry so that you can make lots of different stuff!

For those of you who aren't familiar with soldering irons (as I wasn't before I got back into this whole jewelry making world), a soldering tool helps you fuse two pieces of metal together.  It's basically sort of a miniature hand-held welding device.  I'm really happy my dad is getting this for me because having access to a soldering tool will open up a whole new world for me in terms of jewelry design, and I am REALLY excited about that.  So, Pod and I discuss some of the great things I'm going to be able to do with this tool and try to figure out what other accessories I might need in order to take full advantage of this amazing present.  A couple of days later, I get another call from him:

Me: Hi Pod...whatcha doin?
Pod: Oh, just driving to work.  Guess what I have sitting here in the front seat with me????
Me: My Christmas present?
Pod: Yep, and you're gonna love it!  And guess what?
Me: What?
Pod: I got you TWO soldering tools.  A big one and a smaller one...just in case you need to work on different sized projects.  And then, while I was at it, I also got you a BLOWTORCH!

HOLY CRAP.  A BLOWTORCH??!!!  Seriously?  So, basically, there's still two weeks until Christmas, and I'm thinking if he doesn't slow down, I'm going to have full blown welding gear to open (read: look at, since it won't be wrapped) on Christmas morning.  Again, why stop at one when you can have two?  And really, while we're at it, why stop at a soldering tool when you can have a BLOWTORCH!?  Oh, how I love my funny dad.

Anyway, I added a coupon to my Etsy shop for those happy few of you who take the time to read my ramblings.  Type "BLOG12" in the coupon code at checkout and get free shipping!  Be sure to look for my new SOLDERED jewelry after the holidays, and until then, here's some of my latest stuff:

Thursday, November 10, 2011


So, the title says it all.  Today I am feeling rather persnickety.  Ornery.  Irritable.  Grumpy.  Yes, you could even call me crotchety.  In fact, my facebook updates from today are the very definition of persnickety:

Super early this morning, I queried: "Is there anyone in your life that you love dearly, but still find yourself wanting to punch in the face on a regular basis?  Oh, right...um...yeaaaah...me neither."

Yes, I had a specific person in mind when I typed that update.  And, yes, I definitely wanted to punch this person in the face.  I know, I know...why so violent??  I have no excuse.  Punching people in the face is just my immediate thought when people annoy me.  Unless I've been watching Phineas and Ferb with the boys, in which case, my initial response to any irritation is to mutter under my breath, "Curse you, <insert name of irritant here> the Platypus!" followed quickly by the inevitable thought, "man, I wish I could punch you in the face."

My next facebook update was around 11:00 a.m., and had a visual aid:

Update:  "If you work at McDonalds and I order a small chocolate peppermint milkshake, and you bring me a chocolate milkshake with a shot of peppermint syrup in a separate cup, please expect this look from me right before I ask you to go back and mix them together. Seriously?"
Again, persnickety.  My apologies to the hapless Mickey-D's worker who incurred the wrath of my persnickety-ness this morning.  But, come on...are you serious right now, lady?  I know you're not working at Burger King, so "have it your way" isn't your official mantra, but I really don't feel like it's asking too much to have the peppermint infused into my milkshake before it's handed to me through the drive thru window.  You wouldn't hand me two all beef patties in one container and put the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, and sesame seed buns in another, now would you?  Ok, then.

Most recently, I've had another little bout of persnickety-ness that also requires a picture for you to get the full effect.  Take a look at this:

Said the night wind to the little lamb, DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE??? Or maybe I should say, said the night wind to the little Billy Goat. Yes, you're seeing this correctly...my goat of a son ATE THE LEATHER OFF OF HIS SHOE!!  WHO DOES THAT??!!  Are you for real?  Did this really just happen?  Yes, it's true.  My son, whose stupid baby shoes cost more than mine do, ruined his nice church boots by chewing the leather off of them like a freaking goat.  Unbelievable.

Ok.  Deep breath.  Relax.

I was going to add some pictures of some of the new pieces of jewelry I've been working on, but I decided that this entry is not one that I wish to associate with my jewelry, for obvious reasons.  So, instead, let's turn that frown upside down and focus on the positives here:

GOD'S UGLY OLD BLANKET-WRAPPED GIFTS VOLUME 2 (see earlier post for clarification if you're completely lost right now):

Gift: being surrounded by loved ones
Wrapper: said loved ones doing annoying things for which a good punch in the face seems the practical solution

Gift: a new McDonalds opened up within walking distance of my house
Wrapper: incompetent workers who bring out my earlier violent tendencies and make me want to punch them in the face

Gift: a super cute one year old son who is getting new teeth
Wrapper: the Billy Goat, and, you guessed it, an unnatural desire to punch my own child in the face.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sleep Deprivation, Babies, Babies, Babies, and a Little Bit of Good Jewelry News

Well, here I am.  I should definitely be sleeping.  But, sadly, I think I've gone from tired to exhausted to delirious, and now I'm in a semi-vegetative state where I'm so super tired I can't even get to sleep.  So, here I am...blogging away the few precious minutes where all three babies are sleeping.  Eh, what can ya do? 

Last night the twins were TERRIBLE!  Well, maybe not TERRIBLE...they weren't really screamy or super loud, but they were wide awake and looking to be entertained.  I didn't even have to hold them or stand up or anything, but they were a captive audience and insisted that I sing or talk to them.  So, we had a very eclectic impromptu concert last night consisting of mostly folk ballads, 80s variety, and 90s country.  I've gotta say, I really out did myself last night: Dan Fogelberg, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Chicago, Jim Croce, Journey, Simon and Garfunkel, Jo Dee Messina, the Judds, Don McClean, and I even threw in a little Madonna and Queen for good measure.  At any rate, my concert served to keep them quiet, but did nothing in the way of getting them to close their little eyes and let me rest.  And by the time they finally got to sleep somewhere around the crack of dawn, it was less than an hour before I had to get Ilaiasi up to get ready for school.  And then, of course, there's my early bird Ovaka who woke up just as I was finally drifting off after getting Ilaiasi out the door to the bus stop...you get the idea.  So, here I am at 11:31 on Friday morning, running on approximately an hour and a half of sleep.  But enough with the complaining.  The good news is, I did get some really cute pictures of the runts last night and this morning:

My bed at approximately 12:45 last night: two bright-eyed, bushy-tailed girlies, and one sleeping monkey boy

Good boy Ovaka sleeping soundly to the melodious tone of my croaking...er, I mean SINGING...at 2 a.m.

Naughty girls, wide awake and watching me expectantly: "Perform, slave, or suffer our wrath!"

This picture cracks me up: "What are you looking at? You're looking a little on the fluffy side yourself!" Hahaha

8:30 this morning: Ovaka chillin sucking his thumb, twins FINALLY knocked out

This is what utter exhaustion looks like: 11:30 a.m...three soundly sleeping babies and a mom who's too tired to fall asleep!
In other unrelated, but hopefully more exciting news, I'm back on the jewelry wagon and things are looking up!  Had a little booth at the craft fair at my mom's office last week, and it was pretty successful.  Something REALLY exciting came of this craft fair, though.  One of the ladies at my mom's work bought some of my earrings.  She wore them when she went to a salon to get her hair cut, the owner of the salon saw my earrings and liked them, and asked if I'd be interested in selling my jewelry in the salon!  So, I'm pretty excited about that.  I have to come up with a way to display my jewelry while it's inside baggies...the owner thinks the chemicals from the hair products might cause my wire to tarnish, so she asked that I bag all of the jewelry prior to bringing it in...but once I come up with a display idea, I'm going to set up shop and see how it goes!  Anyone have any good ideas for displaying jewelry that's already in clear plastic bags?  I was thinking of maybe just getting a platter and laying everything out on it...I don't know.  Anywhoo, your ideas would be most appreciated!  Ok...Ovaka's up and hungry, so I guess I'd better get going.  Happy Friday everyone!!

A little quality time...

So...don't call the truant officer on me or anything, but yesterday I picked Ilaiasi up 45 minutes early from school and took my gaggle of goofballs to Chick-fil-A for a late lunch so that Ilaiasi and Ovaka could have some fun on their indoor playground.  Ilaiasi's been struggling a lot lately...too many changes, too much stress, too little of Mom to go around...and it's taken a toll on my sweet eldest son.  He's been acting out a little bit -- nothing major, but my normally obedient boy has been talking back, pouting, being sneaky, and basically just doing things that are very out of character for him.  So, I wanted to do something fun with all the kids, but specifically, I wanted Ilaiasi to feel special.  I just finished the book The 5 Love Languages...have you read it?  It's a really remarkable book, and I would highly recommend it if you're looking to improve your relationships with others.  It's directed towards the marital relationship, but the lessons learned can be applied to any relationship you have.  It basically says that there are 5 "love languages," or ways that people feel love.  Ilaiasi's "love language" is Quality Time.  In other words, spending time with him is the thing that makes him feel most loved, and even if you do lots of other things to show your love for him, if you don't spend quality time with him he will not feel like you truly love him.  As you can probably guess, my three little runts have made spending quality time with Ilaiasi somewhat difficult lately, and I really believe his acting out can be directly attributed to my inability to focus my attention on him like I used to.  So, even though he can't be the sole center of my universe anymore, we spent a little quality time together yesterday, and I hope Ilaiasi went away from the experience feeling special and knowing that his mom loves him more than anything in the world.
No, really, I SWEAR they had fun at the playground today!

Brothers at play

Ilaiasi being a good big brother and playing with Ovaka

Monday, October 24, 2011

Well...not quite what I was looking for, BUT...

Ok all...thanks so much for the critiques of my first attempt at masculine jewelry.  I don't think I own the right thickness of wire to make the changes that most people suggested, so I'm going to go and get some tomorrow and try again.  In the mean time, I did try out your suggestions on other "prototypes," and while they didn't turn out quite as masculine as I had hoped, I REALLY like the results, and even decided to make a metal flower pendant.  Check out these new necklaces...what do you think??

Opinions Needed

Ok, so since I started making jewelry again earlier this summer, my husband Finau has been harassing me to make him a necklace.  I have put it off this long for several reasons.  They are (in no particular order of importance):

1.  My jewelry style is decidedly girly.  I've never designed jewelry with a mens audience in mind, and I don't really have a good sense of what will look appropriate.

2.  Finau is a harsh critic when things don't measure up to his standards.  For my own mental health and in order to avoid what I perceive to be an inevitable argument since I admittedly don't really know how to design mens jewelry, I've avoided making him a necklace.

3.  Finau doesn't wear jewelry.  Ever.  Therefore, I have no idea what he might like.  Additionally, when I ASKED him what he wanted, HE didn't even know what he might want.  He gives me the "just make me something you think I would like" routine.  Great...I'm envisioning myself handing him the necklace and having him say, "SERIOUSLY??!!  You REALLY though I would like THIS??!!"

So, I've been really apprehensive about making anything for him.  However, this morning I woke up and decided to at least TRY to come up with something he'd like.  I figured I might as well try to come up with a few masculine pieces to put in my Etsy shop before the holiday season anyway...you never know who might be looking for a gift for a brother or boyfriend or something like that.  The piece I made this morning is kind of an abstract cursive "F" in hammered metal with a single greenish stone, attached to a thin double leather cord.  I would love to hear what you guys think about it.  Specifically, I need to know if the "F" initial idea is too girly, if the actual design is masculine enough, if I should lose the stone bead or keep it, and if you have any other ideas about how I can improve it.  If you think the whole design should be scrapped, please let me know what you think might work better.  My feelings will not be nearly as hurt by you guys critiquing it as they will be if Finau shoots me down, so please be honest (but kind!).  Ok...here it is (I'm inwardly cringing...I don't know why this freaks me out so much, but even just posting it on here is giving me anxiety!  Hahaha)


Friday, October 21, 2011

God is a jokester...

Those of you who know my family understand why I believe my brothers are two of the funniest people on earth. My brother Steven is particularly funny, and likes to play jokes on people by either wrapping really crappy gifts in very nice packages (for example: a single, dirty, matchless old sock wrapped in beautiful shiny paper with a big bow), or he wraps really nice surprises in ridiculous wrappers (he got me a Coach purse for Christmas one year, but was too lazy to wrap it, so instead he folded it up in the middle of an ENORMOUS old blanket and handed the whole nasty bundle to me!)

Anywhooo...yesterday in the midst of my crazy, crazy day, it occurred to me that God's sense of humor is really very similar to Steven's (who knew? It's actually a pretty shocking epiphany since Steven is one of the more irreverent people in my life!) See, I realized that both Steven and my Heavenly Father like to give me very nice gifts wrapped in rather unfortunate-looking disguises. So, for my own amusement, I came up with a little list:

Gift: 3 super snuggly babies who adore their Mommy
Wrapper: 3 screaming banshees and a Mom with less arms than children

Gift: The twins finally slept for an almost 5 hour stretch on Wednesday night
Wrapper: I woke up and realized I was the sole contestant in a wet t-shirt contest, thanks to boobs that didn't get the memo that my girlies weren't waking up to eat at their regularly scheduled time, so they just went ahead and let loose a lovely breastmilk shower at the normally appointed feeding hour.

Gift: Fall is finally here!!
Wrapper: Woke up in said wet t-shirt in the middle of a frozen tundra that was once my room

Gift: Living in a country where we have the blessing of running water
Wrapper: Water running out of Ilaiasi's bathroom and completely soaking the carpet in his bedroom closet...so not looking forward to pulling it all up to air dry. :/

Gift: a generous husband who would literally give his friends the shirt off his back
Wrapper: $105 in overdraft fees because he didn't check the account to be sure his direct deposit had cleared before he pulled money to let people borrow "just for one day to tide them over until payday on Friday."

I'm thinking of making this an every Friday post because it's been kind of fun looking for the "gifts" hidden in God's special "old, enormous blanket" wrapping paper. Hope you guys got a chuckle or two...again, feel free to laugh because I'd definitely laugh if I heard about some of these things happening to you! Happy Friday all!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Day in the Life...

So, today's been rough.  All three babies have diarrhea...which, as you can imagine, is less than ideal.  And by less than ideal, I obviously mean incredibly, horribly, disgustingly, hideously gross.  Let's face it: one kid with diarrhea is terribly nasty.  Multiply that by 3 and, well...you get how my day is going so far.  I keep reminding myself that someday I will look back on this and laugh.  Or, as my dear friend Analyn reminded me, I will at least be able to use this terrible day as ammo to embarrass my children  with later in their lives.  Which, truth be told, is just as good if not better than being able to laugh at it later.  Nevertheless, by about 9:00 this morning, I was already ready to call it a day.  So, I decided I needed something else to focus on -- you know, something besides stinky runny poo seeping into my sheets AGAIN (the third set of the morning), squirmy poo-smeared legs kicking nastiness all over my shirt (also the third of the morning), and bath water running for -- you guessed it -- the THIRD time before 9:00.  What could possibly divert my attention from such loveliness?
If you've read any of my former blog posts, you've probably noticed that I adore my crazy children.  I admit it unabashedly...I think they are the funniest, smartest, cutest things around.  And, fortunately for me, this is MY blog, so I can write whatever I want.  And that allows me an outlet where I can voice my admiration for my little runts.  I wish I could say that they are the result of my amazing parenting, but, truthfully, they just came the way they are.  At any rate, I decided late this morning that rather than focusing on all the "muck and mire" I am literally knee-deep in today, I would instead document a day in the life of my little runt Ovaka.  I adore this kid.  He is so funny in his own little way.  Ovaka is half of my second set of identical twins...he is SO much like his dad, it's scary!  Their looks, their personalities...everything is the same.  Ovaka is a kid who is extremely easy going, but it's extremely difficult to make him laugh.  He's equal parts sweet and sour -- he'll lovingly pat his sisters' heads, and then without provocation he'll slap them in the face.  He's fearless -- if you scold him, he'll turn and scold YOU back -- but his feelings are incredibly fragile, and after he's done trying to hit you or yell at you for yelling at him, he'll burst into unconsollable tears and stick out his lip because you hurt his feelings.  So, in a series of pictures that perfectly depict my funny little guy, here we go:

Morning snuggles with Mom

Wide awake and ready to watch cartoons while Mommy changes and feeds the girlies

Typical Disney Channel-watching posture

Losing interest in cartoons...hm...maybe she won't notice that I'm getting ready to bug the twins if I stand here nonchalantly...

Yep...time to annoy my sisters.

"What?  I'm not doing anything...see?"

After Mom told him to sit down and leave the girls alone: "No, YOU don't tell ME what to do...I tell YOU what to do!"

Pouty face...busted harassing the twins.

Ok, time for a nap.

"I own this bed."

15 minutes later...already up...dang it...

Special Agent Oso

Uh, Mom...?
Not feeling so good
***Brief intermission while we take yet ANOTHER bath due to nasty diarrhea***

Feeling better...must be time to bug my sisters again...
"Let's see what happens when I take this thing out.."

"YIKES!!  Let's put that back in!"

"You don't want it?  Fine, then...it's mine."

"Just keep staring forward...Mom has NO IDEA that I'm pulling my sister's monitor wires off..."

"Mom, please, please, PLEASE make it stop!!  He's BUGGING ME!!!"

Feeling sorry...maybe I'll give her a little kiss...
"What should we do now, Mom?"

I know...Phineas and Ferb!

That Perry the Platypus is HILARIOUS!

Getting bored again...

Hm...what else can I get into?

"I know...let's eat baby wipes!"
Aaaaaaand...I'm spent!
Love you, Ovaka!