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 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!). 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 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, 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 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,'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!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pictures of the Girlies, and other unrelated rambles...

Well, thought I'd put up a few pictures of my girlies for those of you who aren't facebook friends of mine.  They are getting HUGE -- both are around 10 pounds now -- and are just starting to make eye contact for long periods of time.  I think they'll start intentionally smiling any day now, and I can't wait for that!  They hold their heads up pretty well, and are starting to get curious about the world around them.  It's like a circus trying to get my millions of babies into the car so that we can go anywhere, but I have been venturing out more and more, and I'm getting pretty efficient at loading 3 babies, two apnea monitors, two strollers, a diaper bag, and my purse into the car by myself.  Anywhooo...without further ado, here are my sweet girlies in their fancy Halloween spider hats my Aunt Vigdis made for them.  Girls are so much more fun to dress up than boys!!

I found these adoreable Halloween sleepers, and was so excited that they had both orange and purple because they match the spiders perfectly!

Here they are in their little white dresses...I had to put them in these right now before it gets too cold and they grow out of them!

I love this picture because Kamila looks nervous about the big yawn going on to her right.  :)
Kamila looks a lot like my little sister Sunny to me in this one.

I like this one...cute little snuggly girlies.
So, in other completely unrelated business...have any of you watched Oprah's Life Class on her new OWN network?  I've been watching it every night for the last week and a half, and I'm absolutely LOVING it.  For those of you who haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out.  Oprah shows clips of people she interviewed on her old show, and then explains what life lessons she has learned from them and encourages the viewers to look at their own lives and apply the lessons in order to "live the life they were meant to live."  I find this immensely intriguing on several levels.  Truthfully, I think part of it is just that right now I am completely starved for adult/non baby-related conversation, but it's more than just that.  I love the idea that every person has an individual purpose for being here on the earth, and that it's your job to figure out what that purpose is and then live it to the best of your ability.  It's gotten me thinking about my own life, and wondering what exactly I am "meant to do" with it.  Honestly, I think right now I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing in this phase of my life.  With so many little people who need to be fed and changed and loved, I don't have a whole lot of time to devote to much else, but I know that this stage won't last forever, and I'm looking forward to exploring my options and seeing where they lead me.

Ok...last, but certainly not least of the schizophrenic ramblings that compose this post...let me fill you in on what's going on with my Etsy shop.  Basically, a whole lot of NOTHING!!  Come on, people, three infants here, remember??, really, I am just starting to get back into jewelry-making mode, and I'm excited about that.  My mom's work is having a little pre-holiday craft fair at the end of the month, and I'm going to make some stuff to sell there, so I'm looking forward to that.  I've got some new ideas marinating in my brain, so as soon as I make some new jewelry, I'll be sure to post pictures.  Until then, you'll just have to put up with me posting millions of pictures of my cutie pie kiddos.  Here's a few more for the road:

My baby train -- taken in the lobby of my doctor's office at my 3 week post partum check up.

The madness that is now my bed...too many sleeping babies!  They sure are cute, though!

My sweet big-eyed Ovaka.  This is his "Come on, I look like someone who would slap my sister's head repeatedly?" face. (And the answer is YES.)

My big helper Ilaiasi.  He's had a rough time since the twins were born: first stressing out about them being in the NICU, then feeling left out and a little overlooked, now feeling a little resentful about having to miss out on things because I can't physically drag so many kids all over the place by myself.  I love this guy so much, and I hope things get easier for him soon.  He's such a great kid.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Well, it's been six LONG weeks since my last post, but I'm finally settled enough to get on here and do a little blogging.  The girlies were born on August 31, 2011.  Kamila Kathy was  born first at 8:22 a.m., followed four minutes later by her little sister Elva Kalea.  They were both 19 1/4 inches long and weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and 6 lbs 9 oz, respectively.  Both girls spent 13 days in the NICU and came home on apnea monitors so that we can keep an eye on their breathing and heart rates.  Because they were born 5 weeks early, they have had some problems with getting too sleepy and forgetting to breathe.  They also have reflux, which is very common for preemies, and this causes them to stop breathing sometimes as well.

Well, now that we have the "stats" out of the way, I guess I'll start at the beginning and we'll see how far I get before the girlies wake up!  My last post ended with me talking to my doctor and the decision being made to induce me the following morning.  And so, at 4:00 on August 31st, the nurse came in and hooked a bag of pitocin up to my IV.  I tried to get some rest, but I was obviously both nervous and excited, so I mostly just sat there in bed with my eyes closed and listened to the Finau serenade me with his snoring.  At around 6:25, the anesthesiologist came by.  He was somewhat abrupt and not particularly friendly, and he asked me if I wanted an epidural.  I told him that I wasn't really in all that much pain yet, and I thought I could wait.  He then told me that he had 5 scheduled c-sections to cover, so if I wanted an epidural in the next several hours, now was the time.  So, obviously, we did the epidural right then!  Something random that I remember: my phone has an alarm set for Ilaiasi's bus at 6:35.  While he was doing my epidural, my phone alarm went off, and for whatever reason, he was VERY put out by that.  Apparently, he works in silence.  I'm thinking administering pain medication to pregnant women in labor is not typically a noise-free job, but, hey...what do I know?

Dang...didn't get very far before the girls woke up! To be continued...

UPDATE, October 19, 20ll:

Ok, picking up after the epidural was administered:
So, after the cranky anesthesiologist left, my contractions really started picking up.  Unfortunately, the epidural didn't really seem to help all that much, but having had Ovaka with no epidural whatsoever, I was prepared for the ensuing labor and didn't really stress about the epidural too much.  At around 7:15 or so, my doctor came in and checked me.  I think I was maybe a 5 at this point, and he had to go assist with a c-section, so he said to have the nurse call him when I thought I was ready.  I just hung out and talked to my mom until the contractions started getting pretty painful...probably for about 45 minutes...and then I had my mom get the nurse.  They checked me and said it was time to call in Dr. Crowder, and within about 15 minutes everybody was ready to meet the girlies.   There were a bunch of people in my delivery room this time...NICU nurses for each of the babies, my nurse, Dr. Crowder, Finau, and my mom.  I remember them setting up a table with all of the different instruments needed for the birth, and then having the heated table over in the corner to keep the girlies warm after they were born.  My sweet girls were born at 8:22 and 8:26, just 4 minutes apart and with basically two pushes each!  This was by FAR my easiest delivery, and yet it was the one I stressed out about the most!  Fear of the unknown is a very powerful thing, and I'm SO glad I had nothing to be afraid of.  My biggest fear was that there would be complications that required an emergency c-section, but thankfully that didn't happen.  Oh, here's another interesting thing: before all the excitement got completely underway, my mom asked Dr. Crowder about the birth process and when the girls' placentas would be delivered.  He told her that it typically goes baby A, placenta A, baby B, placenta B.  So, we were a little surprised when the order instead went baby A, baby B, single placenta.  This happens when one of two things occur: either the babies implant close enough to each other that their placentas merge and grow together, or the babies are identical twins who share a single placenta.  If twins share an amniotic sac, they are definitely identical, but if they have seperate amniotic sacs, they can be either fraternal or identical.  My doctor said that since the girls were in seperate amniotic sacs, he would have the placenta tested to determine whether the babies were identical or fraternal.  At my 3 week post partum check up, he gave me the results of the test, and my girlies are identical twins.

Anyway, back to the, my cousin Adam graciously volunteered to pick Ilaiasi up from school so that he could come and meet his sisters.  My labor went pretty fast, so the girls were born before Ilaiasi and Adam got to the hospital.  With all twin births, there is a mandatory NICU stay of 24 hours in the hospital where I delivered, and they usually take the babies very shortly after birth.  However, my girls were doing great, so they reluctantly let them stay in my room for about 2 hours after they were born so that we could wait for Ilaiasi to arrive.  My sweet son finally came, and Adam told me later that they had stopped to grab him a drink at a gas station on the way.  Ilaiasi, before choosing a drink for himself, grabbed a diet coke and asked Adam if it would be alright for him to get a drink for his mom.  Man, I love that kid...such a good, good boy.

The girls were doing really well, so I figured the NICU stay was just a necessary formality and that they would be going home with me the next day or the day after that.  I was so disappointed and discouraged to hear that they were having breathing and heart rate problems.  It's a very scary thing to have your child stop breathing or watch the monitor and see her heart rate drop.  The alarms were very...well...ALARMING, but it was such a relief to have wonderful, skilled nurses taking care of my baby girls.  They really made the two weeks of NICU stay as easy as it could possibly be for us, and I will always be grateful for that.  All in all, I feel really blessed to have had a fairly uneventful NICU experience -- I know that many parents are not so fortunate, and I am truly grateful that I was spared the trial of a bumpy NICU road.  Anyway, here are a few pictures of the girls during their hospital stay:

Proud daddy!  Actually, Finau was being a wiseguy and giving me a big, cheesy smile because I harassed him about never looking happy in our pictures.  I don't care why he did it...I love it!  :)

Me with the tinies in our comfy brown feeding chair.  The NICU had the BEST, MOST COMFORTABLE chairs!

My mom named this picture "NICU Stinks."

The pillows behind them in this picture are called Z-Flo pillows, and are used to keep their heads nice and round while they're in the NICU.  They're pretty cool...I wonder if they sell them to the general public?  Probably, but I bet they're super expensive.

Going home outfits: September 13, 2011...finally breaking free of the NICU and coming home!  Yippee!!