Wednesday, February 29, 2012

So Far, so Good: WIO & Weigh it In

Spinach & Strawberries & Grapes & Romaine Lettuce & Feta crumbles in a balsamic vinagrette

See that salad up there? It goes down as the bestest salad I ever ate. EVER. It totally put to shame my previous bestest salad from Zippys (the tossed greens w/miso soy dressing).

I had that fabulous salad last night at Katzu's Blue & Gold CubScout banquet. I'm telling ya ~ I am doing my best to track the mother down that made it & get her recipe!

Who knew I'd find such a culinary delicious-ness at a CubScout activity? Goes to show, one never knows where good stuff will show up at!

(I'll be sure to attend scouting activities more faithfully from now on since salads are on the refreshment list!)

Now, down to business... I've been on the 1500 cal/100 grms Protein plan for a week now. So how'd it go?


That puts me -5lbs where I was a week ago. Which is okay good. I am not going to get excited about this weight loss until next week Wednesday's weigh in. If the weight keeps coming off, then I'll feel more confident that this whole eating clean & upping my protein counts is working for me.

(The scale & I have NOT had a pleasant working relationship in the past, so I don't expect that it will be any kinder to me now.)

I have not had a donut since Fat Tuesday. I also have not had any mayo, butter or chocolate either. It's not so bad. Things that I thought had butter - don't. Most of the breads I'm eating have vegetable oil as the lubricant. I'm not adding mayo to anything I eat & am careful to look at what I order before I eat it. Avoiding chocolate has been easier than avoiding mayo & butter.

Part of what's helping me to really stick to eating clean(er) is this little gift from my niece. I wear the bracelet on my left hand. (She gave it to me as part of their DrugFree program last week. Although its original intent is to remind children that they will NOT EVEN ONCE try Meth/Crack/Drugs, it's helping me to remember - Not Even Once will I break faith from my goal to get healthier!)

My clothes feel bigger & loser. That dress in the pic below is a StyleCo Size 14P. I absolutely could not fit that dress 3 1/2 years ago. I couldn't get it over my neckline. It fit me well 2 years ago. Yesterday, it was too loose in the caboose!

I can finally get my ring (size 7) on to my right hand ring finger without it cutting off the circulation & needing a wrench to get off. It falls off of my left ring finger. (maybe that's a sign?no bueno to the married-oh?)

Fitness wise, I'm pushing more weights. The seated Bench Press is 100lbs. I can't remember the #'s on the other weight lifts. This past week was tough for me in the cardio area. I struggled to nail my miles, walking some of it, biking some it & running some of it. Most of the set back is mental. I can't run 3.5 miles in 35 minutes. Hell, I could barely squeak a 1 miler in 16 minutes this week.

That's just crazy & frustrating. I want to kick the treadmill & stomp it into the damn ground. I've taken 2 days out from weights & cardio to re-set myself. I did some push ups rows w/dumb bells & lunges at home but no serious hard training.

I have been tired this past week. The workouts leave me wiped out. The reduced caloric intake coupled with higher pounds & reps in the weight room made me take note of the fatigue that wasn't there before. I am 5 for 7 days of vitamin & supplements.

(We'll see how this plays out in the upcoming week)

Changing ones body composition is tough slow work.

Tomorrow I start on the Get Fit 100 Challenge with my good buddies from the GET FIT group. The basic premise is to commit to a nutritional & fitness goal for the next 100 days. My 1500 Cal/100 grms Protein Plan still goes on until August 11. Instead of ending my Lent sacrifices on April 7th, I'll end it on June 7th when the Get Fit 100 days are done.

The big challenge for me will be 100 miles in 100 days for $100.00 AND 100 Squats/Lunges/Burpees a week until June 7th. I've worked it out in my head how to do this. Since Sundays are my designated rest days - that leaves me Monday to Friday (Saturday is my alternate day) to spread out my miles/squats/lunges/burpees.

March 1st will look like this in the AM: run 1 mile: 10 squats : 10 lunges forward, 10 lunges reverse: 10 Burpees. 20 minutes in the weight room lower body strength training. In the PM: walk 1 mile: 10 squats:10 Burpees.

I'm getting dizzy just writing it down. Thinking about it is starting to get scary. That's okay. Like all things relevant to me ... I take it in small doses, one step at a time, one bite at a time, one day at a time. I just focus on the task at foot right now, which is to run 1 mile a day.

With love & delicious challenges ahead~

P.S. The photo on the top was taking 04/19/2008. I'm not at my highest weight in that picture. My highest weight was still 60+ pounds from what I was on the day that was taken. The bottom 2 photos are from yesterday - which also keeps up with my weekly photo post for Stacey. (Thank You Stacey for the inspiration & the challenge!)

P.S.S. See those fabulous Coconut & Jade earrings in the bottom photo? Those are one of a kind handmade earrings made by my dear friend & jeweler Monique Solofa of YOUnique Jewelery. They are fabulously beautiful & you'll never see anyone wearing one like the ones she designs!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Single?Mormon?Mother?:Moments of Motherhood 2/27/12

It's been bugging me for a couple of weeks now - this label of being a  Single Mormon Mother.

It's true.

I am Single (Divorced). I am Mormon (Active). I am a Mother (of 3 boys).

But what does it mean to be this label?

Being a single mother in the Mormon faith is kinda tough. (Being single at all  is tough.)

Mormon (culture) fosters & supports families.

One of the basic beliefs of our faith is that Families can be Forever.

Families at church typically look like this: Father, Mother, Child, Child, Child, Child, Child & baby.

But what about the dynamic that's just one parent & children?

How do you fit in to the picture when your husband isn't your husband anymore & you no longer have a Priesthood holder at the helm to connect you to the ward & its community?

(I think its different for single fathers because the Relief Society sisters are always on top of that.)

I also think its different for single mothers in other faiths because their faiths aren't as focused on Priesthood (which in inherently male only).

Our Home Teachers are one resource that connects me to our ward & other members. There was so much going on in the Elders Quorums that I missed out on because my sons were too young yet to be there.

Now that Sim is old enough, he is active within his Quorums and so keeps me informed about whats going on. My two younger boys follow up with their brother & others in church. The space where their father should be & isn't - still resonates with me. But not so much for the boys.

A new & wonderful friend of mine asked me a month or so ago how long I had been a single mother. I answered without really thinking,"Nearly all of my adult life." In reflection, I think her question had more to do with how long had I ceased to be legally married than it had to do with being a mother.

I don't mind the Single Mother status as much as I mind the Mormon part of it.

(I know several of my friends are reading this and shaking their heads because hullo! over analyzing much or what?)

But what does it mean to BE a Mormon Single Mother?

I was reading Excellent points about how going from co-parenting to single parenting is scary & tough & transitory for everyone parents & children & those connected to them.

I gotta say, being a single mother isn't scary to me. Even when I was married & co-parenting with my now Ex-Husband being a mother wasn't scary. I just did it.

Being a MORMON single mother does scare me.


Because what if I'm not Mormon enough? Married Mormon Mother's aim high - stratospherically high. They work. They raise a family. They make Wonder Woman look like a wimp.

I, most certainly am not obsessed with collecting all the callings I can possibly collect, nor am I neurotic about being punctual to every meeting. And ask anyone who knows me, overdone & over blown cricut cutter multi-dimensional neon hued 3 fold presentation poster boards are not my thing.

Being a good Mormon Single Mother does mean doing double duty as mother & father for my children. It means getting up early to make sure the boys are ready for Sunday, it means watching them & holding them & propping them up as they each embark on their priesthood duties.

It means letting go so they can learn to lift others up by being of service to each other and others around them. It means reminding them of their many blessings so that they can bless themselves by helping themselves.

I would guess it means to me that I have to lead by example & not by my mouth. Kids have eyes. (or at least mine do). They watch me & they record me in their hearts. (Let's not re-play the CrazyMom scene in the car when said children couldn't find slippers/backpacks/homework after already being reminded a gazillion times or the scene where PsychoMom took over after one of the children sprung a last minute party for 15 boys at the movies with popcorn & sodas. Thank God for the gift & miracle of Repentance)

Perhaps, when God reviews my life the work I've done as their Mother will put me on the right side of the line ( and watch the clips where I've taught them to pray, to serve & to love!) and He'll tell me it doesn't matter if I was single or not, or Mormon or not but that I was the Mother for these children that He sent me to be.

( *smiles *)

With Love & delicious mothering~

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Changing: WIO & Weight It In Wednesday 2/22/12

First the good news...
-0lbs lost or gained in this past week!

This is semi-miraculous considering this past week was filled with onion hopias, black bean hopias, a couple of squares of grilled buttery cornbread & Smuckers Strawberry Jam, Simz amazing triple chocolate brownies, 2 hand sized homemade they used real butter chocolate chip cookies, a couple of XL extra butter please bags of movie theater popcorn, a couple of cans of reduced fat Pringles, a peanut butter & jelly sandwich before bed every night, a Jr. Bacon burger from JackIntheBox with 2 buttermilk sauces AND a couple slices of extra cheesy pepperoni pizzas from PizzaHut.

Oh! and I forgot a sprinkled chocolate donut last Saturday and a cream filled long john donut last night in celebration of Fat Tuesday.

There. I think I got all the junks down.
(I've been experimenting with food this past week)

I also worked out hard 5 out of 7 days for 90 minutes. 45 minutes in the cardio room. 45 minutes in the weight room.

And now the kinda good news...

Starting today and for the next 6 months, I'm transitioning into a new kind of lifestyle that I've been chasing after for the past 2 years. I want to bring my weight down & build up muscle so that I can run hard & long.

To accomplish those markers I've set for my self:

I've begun my 1500 calorie meal plans, which I'm also working with a Nutritionist on so that I can stay healthy & drop the weight & gain muscle. This is so that I do not repeat having my hair fall out in big handfuls & clumps like it did a couple years ago.
(I also cut all my hair off so that if it does fall out, I'm going BALD)

I've dredged my food log back out from the pile of books it was under last week. I've planning ahead by three days what I will eat, when I will eat it & how.
(I see a lot of baked, broiled, boiled or steamed in my future!)

I'm still taking my 2 mutli-vitamins, B1 & B12 once a day per doctors orders.
(Dr. Socks ~ you're some kinda awesome. Kinda weird but awesome)

I've upped my protein counts from 25grms a day to 100 grms.

I'm seeing a Psychologist to work through my emotional food issues.
(Hullo! Food is not my friend. Food is fuel. Food does not hug me. Friends hug me. Food is not my friend. Food is also NOT an acceptable substitute for having or not having friends)

So far the only person missing from my health team is a Personal Trainer.
(Anyone wanna volunteer?)

My fierce moment of today? Going to the weight room & pumping 100lbs in a seated bench press. I had to call Sim over to witness the event! After much rolling of his eyeballs, he gave me a thumbs up & went back to his own workout.

I'm telling y'all... that is some kinda wonderful right there when you're pushing a weight level you haven't ever been at before & your about ready to drop but you don't. You keep on going.

I can do it. That's the best gift I can give myself.
And Thank You friends for being my friends because food is just food but good friends make it all easier to ride it out!

With love & delicious new changes~

PS. I've been told by the boys that I am NEVER to wear that dress out of the house ever. It's a Chapwicks Dress Size 14. As you can see, it hugs all of my curves! Ha! Well, I didn't wear it out. I just took a picture of me in it & then sent it out to everyone! Hahahahahahaha! See, boys? You 3 are NOT the BOSS of Mommy! Y'all can boss me around when I'm 97years old & maybe not even then! Ha!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Poetry In Motion: TimeOutTuesday 2/21/12

The first time I wrote a poem, I was 5. It was the simplest of poems ~ a roses are red, violets are blue sort of thing.

I'm almost certain I wrote it in kindergarten to a Latino boy named Chris on the back of a Halloween card just before the costume parade.

(I could be wrong about his name, its been almost 40 years since then!)

In high school, I wrote poetic love notes to crushes who couldn't differentiate a haiku from sushi or since we were all in Samoa at that time, they couldn't tell the difference between a stanza & spam (the real SPAM not Treet & not the crap in our inboxes).

I wrote long poetic posters of love *snorts* to at least several celebrity movie stars (Ralph Macchio? Who understands that one? But yes I was crazyinlove with him back in the early 80's) and pop stars.

As I got older & more worldly, I wrote verses of emotions all through out college. Some of it dark, some of it tortured - all of it powerful.

I wrote To  myself. To my lovers. To my son. To my empty bed. To a life filled with hurt & anguish & anger & broken hearts (theirs not mine). 

Mostly it was poetry about fighting to live free & love free. 

(I choose my own choices & therefore I choose my consequences.)

And then one day (it may have been night)it just stopped.

There was no more poetry in me, no rhythm or catchy rhymes. It just wasn't there any more.

Honestly the last time I wrote anything resembling poetry was 1997 - the year before my life exploded into itsy bitsy embers.

The writing became long form essays, short form essays, shorter forms of shorter essays until one day - that well dried up too. 

There were no more words in me.

Then there really was nothing for many many many years. The longest thing I wrote was my name on a check.

Until last year. 

With the encouragement of friends & family ~ I picked up my proverbial pen & stared writing again. Writing. Not just signing my name or jotting off Facebook rants or notes to friends but writing. 

I also started writing to friends - not emails which are also very lovely & immediate but writing to people using a pen & paper (mostly a pre-made card) and mailing it at the United States Post Office (I have a love/hate relationship going on with them right now).

The more I write, the more I have to write. It seems to me like the lesson I learned in love ~ the more I love, the more love I have to give. 

I see that as with most things in life, if you don't use it, you lose it. 

All the talent in the world isn't going to do you any good if you don't practice it every day & use it.

So I'm going to see if I've still got some poetry magic in these old fingertips, aye?

There once was a pig named Phil.
All he could do was shrill
Other pigs oinked 
and other pigs boinked
But Phil shrilled till he zoinked.

Yeah. I'm thinking...I'm more than a little bit rusty there. 


With love & delicious poetry~

PS. This one is for real:

I walked along life's road
where I waited for you to come
the hills rolled by 
and the mountains loomed large
and still you didn't arrive.

I knew you were there
walking your own road
wondering if alone was all alone.

What more could I say
but please keep on?
I'm here!
I'm Here!

Just keep on going!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just Testing Links & Stuff

Hi All!

We had a problem earlier with Blogger settings & are re-testing stuff being sent out.

How are you spending your holiday today?

We hope you're having a great time with your family & friends as we are spending ours napping & snacking & noshing on grinds watching a NCIS marathon (can't get enough of Gibbs!).

Even Mother Hubbard opted to take her snacks & watch some Gibbs action on the little screen!

Happy Presidents Day!

With love & spastic links ~

Sometimes being a Mom pays off :Moments of MotherHood 2/20/12

Katzu reading Scriptures after FHE
We were wrapping up our Family Home Evening last Sunday when Katz got his scriptures out & parked himself in front of me.

He started reading from 1 Nephi Chapter 14. And he kept on reading & reading & reading.

I was amazed at this little person who gravitated to scriptures to read & ask questions like why did Nephi's brothers tie him up? Why didn't Heavenly Father just sent a lightening bolt down & zap his brothers for being naughty? Why don't they love their brother?

So many big questions for such a small person.

I.AM.AMAZED that I had anything to do with how this little one is becoming. I am amazed I had anything to do at all with the good men these kids are becoming.

My heart & hands are full of them. I am blessed. Right now I just want to breathe in the goodness of this moment ~ my children are here together, they are healthy, they are happy, we are all well (Never mind my house is dirty & the dishes are piled up in the sink & the counters. I can always clean that up later.)

All three of my boys AND FatsieCakes have been fussing about who is Mommy's Favorite (why do children fuss at such a thing?).

Me & Sim After church Fall 2011

Sim insists he's my favorite because he was born first (as a firstborn too, I've heard that defense before).

Me & Taf @ Kakela Beach Summber 2011

Taf is adamant that he is my favorite because he was born in the middle & like Goldilocks he's not too hot & not too cold but juuuuuuuuuuuuust riiiiiiiiiiiight (no kidding, that's how he put it).

Me & Katz Thanksgiving 2011

Katz tells them he's my favorite because he's my baby (never mind this baby & I are the same height now).

Me & Fatsie Christmas 2011

And while the boys are snapping back & forth with who's Mommy's favorite, FatsieCakes jumps up on my lap and sticks his stinky fishy smelling face up to mine & meows & gives me a kittykiss. Fatsie knows he's my favorite because he's just Fatsie.

So, who's Mommy's Favorite?

They all are. Each of them is my absolute favorite in the whole wide world. I wouldn't ever give them up or over for anything or anyone else. ever.

(except for chocolate. I might give them all up for chocolate. *giggles* just kidding kids!)

With love & delicious favorites~

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIO & Weigh It In Wednesday 2/15/12

- 1 lbs.

I'm one little pound down from where I was a month ago. I'm undecided if I should laugh at it or cry.

(Bah! I'll take it & thank God for the loss. See? All that jumping up & down yesterday in honor of Valentines Day paid off!)

I've taken a break from running this past week as I've added in the stairs & leg presses & leg squats & leg leg leg stuff. Reverse Lunges are a bitch!

Thank you God that my knees & back are in good shape!

And now the highlight of my week....

It finally happened.

That horrible moment when I'm in a grocery store and some white kid in a cart being pushed by his white skinny mother opens up his mouth and says, "You have a big booboo."

I stopped him in his cart - this honest child of 4 years old and told him, "Yes I do have a big booboo."

His mother pre-occupied with scouting for organic but cheap spaghetti looked at me like I was stupid, so I told her to her face,"Your son just said I have a big booboo."

She stammered and then apologized.
I told her why be sorry? Its true and your son is just stating a fact as he sees it.
She got out of that aisle in a hurry and I could hear her correcting her son from the next isle - telling him that even though it might be true to him it was rude of him to say it out loud to me.

(One would think she would be more concerned about her son speaking to strangers.)

I didn't think it was rude.
And what surprised me is that it didn't hurt my feelings the way I had imagined it would.

It is true. I do have a big booboo that is only emphasized in its full curvy glory by my small-ish waist & almost non-existent booblettes.

I felt sorry for this child & for his mother because in their pre-dominantly white skinny community of Sunset Beach/Haleiwa Beach Park - I (who am of Polynesian descent) appear big & fat & not normal to them. To them & others like them, I could see this in their brown eyes, I'm a big bad brown mad woman.

Watch out!

(racism much or what?)

I wear a size 14/16 jeans, a size Small/Med T-shirt & 36C bra (which I confess to it being double padded).
I'm 5"1 on a good day.
I gotta big booty.
I could put Niki Minaj AND Kimmy K's asses to shame.

That doesn't make me FAT.
What makes me FAT is FAT which in not the same thing as a big booty.

What that does make me is a petite Momma w/a bangin' big booty! Okay so right now my ass is also lopsided as I'm easing my way into lower body strength training.

(Hullo to the steps at the Cannon Center!)

No joke. My ass is lopsided! My left check is smaller & more perkier than my right which is hanging on to its voluptuous curve & squishy-ness.

Who ever heard of such a thing happening as they lose weight & tone up? A lopsided ass? Hahahahaha! All my kids crack up laughing at it. But its good fun. Sim even told me to hop on my right leg 100 times to try to even my bottom out!

(we don't take our bottoms too seriously around here)

Even if I get down to 150lbs - I'm still going to have this ass that hollers!

I know it. But I can't help but wonder if in changing the composition of my body (lowering my body fat %) if just maybe my body will eat my ass up & leave me with a little itsy bitsy bottom & slim hips.

(we all have our delusional fantasies)

I'd like for my bottoms to match my tops instead of it being double away. Like I can wear a size 8 top but I have to have a size 16 bottom.

As for the "You have a big booboo" comment ~ I'm glad it happened, so that I could just get over it. I thought it would hurt wound kill me & it didn't.


Because no matter what size or weight or whatever the world measures me by ~ it doesn't change who I am.

With love & delicious big booboo's~

PS Yes I know since this post was about my ass - I should've included a photo of the ass but my photographer Tafilele was busy going on & on about GhostRider 2 coming out on Friday. Next week, I promise!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day to Me!:Time Out Tuesdays 2/14/12

Valentines Day.

(I'm not sure if I want to slap myself or jump up & down for joy!)

Happy happy happy Valentines Day!!!
(I opt for jumping up & down! Maybe I'll lose a pound before weigh in tomorrow!)

I'm just bursting with chalky tasting hearts & full fatty chocolates (none of which have crossed my lips & taken up permanent residence on my hips) & I'm ready to mail off all of my Valentines today!
(Today is going to be so very awesome!)

Have to put my Valentines in bigger envelopes today
I had the most amazing fun picking out Valentines for myself this year to send to my all my Valentines. The little guys (who are all taller than me now) opted no Valentines cards or candies for their classes & friends. I guess being 8 & 11 years old means you're too old to pick out & give cheesy Valentines from WalMart to 16 or 27 of your classmates.

Which is good for me!

There were so many to choose from this year! I'm telling ya ~ shopping for a Valentines Day card that expresses ones most whimsical & heart filled desire is kinda hard work. How do you emote Happy Valentines Day Let's Go Eat Some Man in a tasteful & humorous way without being offensive? (Ha! I should do my own cards next year)

Valentines Day & I have developed a love/hate relationship over the years.

I got pregnant with my oldest son on Valentines Day 1992. While I was on the pill no less (but also taking antibiotics ~ which neither my OB-GYN or Family Planning nurse bothered to mention to me would decrease the "effectiveness" of birth control). He was my Valentines gift from his daddy, whom I no longer speak too. (collective sigh & shrug for being stupid & 18 years old)

A few years later, I got married on Valentines Day 2000 in Apia, Samoa. I'm not sure what poltergeists possessed me to do such a thing on such a beautiful holiday! But then again I'm also one of those tacky people who absolutely want to get married in the little Chapel of Love in Las Vegas, Nevada by an Elvis Impersonator in the biggest ugliest dress I can squeeze myself into.
(Hmmm... maybe next year? While I'm Stalking the Manu Samoa Rugby Team?Ha!)

That's him signing his life over to me. That's me in my sister's blue prom dress - sans a bra & pantie because we had just gone swimming at this most amazing beach in Apia & well, let's just say it was a very Happy Valentines last hurrah to singleness before everything just went to hell. (well, Hell maybe taking literary literal licenses to far)

And may I also just add that sex in salty ocean water is way over rated & burns in places where it ought never burn at? (yeah, I don't know how they do it in the movies)

Flash forward to Valentines Day 2008. I get a email from my attorney, the divorce is officially granted. (On Valentines Day no less. Couldn't they wait one more day? It's hilarious to me & I have to laugh)

Single again.
I sat at my desk
& cried
& thanked God that I got full custody of my children.
He got his freedom.

But before you think that I've gotten off the Hearts On Fire merri-go-around & around....

Valentines Day 2009: the legally & lawfully declared EX is making noises about "putting his family back together" and wants to get married again... He proposes in a backhanded sort of way that makes me have to clarify out loud in a very slow voice,"Are you asking me to marry you? Again? Do you have like memory recall failure? You do know who I am don't you?"

To which he swore at me in Samoan & said "Yes, I want to marry you. Again. On Valentines Day to celebrate our 10th anniversary." (what a brave AND stupid man)

Valentines Day 2010: He picked the date as a tribute to our first go at marriage - which should have been my first clue that Hullo! Not such a lucky date for me!

Things had changed for him. More honestly put, things had never changed for him & he was unable to do something that his penis heart wasn't truly invested in.

I got a phone call a few weeks earlier where he explained that he's not an angel (which I thought was ironic considering Angels were the theme of the imaginary wedding I was planning in my imagination) and that may be some time or may be some day but that I shouldn't lose hope (cue the raised eyebrow & sarcastic look).

Valentines Day 2010
I didn't marry him that day. I didn't even speak to him that day. I spent it hiking KokoHead crater & Makapuu Point. Then after I got a good sweat on AND ate a fabulous lunch at the Aloha Tower Market Place with my sister ~ I went home, looked at the wedding dress I bought that was white no less & then stuffed it in the trash.

I'm relieved that he & I had the good sense to not make the same mistake twice. Maybe once upon a time, he believed he loved me enough to marry me & make a family with me but the idea of a wife & children and the reality of me & our children were more than his ambition to be famous/accomplished could balance.

(I wish him well today. I wish him everything he truly deserves. I wish him 2 fatcakes from DDW AND a big coke to wash it down with!5000 calories & 125 grams of pure fattyness)

Last year I had a blast with a pocket full of quarters & a couple of dirty old payphones. I crank called every ex I could think of with a phone number I had. It was juvenile to be sure but harmless fun.

Today is Valentines Day 2012. I'm going to be spending it in prayer & going to the Temple.

I am learning that living is about the love you give not the love you expect to get. As I heard someone wise tell me, love is the one thing you can keep on giving & never run out of. So true.

Daniel & Rebekah ~ you're at the top of my prayer list today. I pray for Daniel's healing & for his mother Rebekah to have strength & comfort. I pray for their wellness even though I am very far away ~ my valentine heart is praying hard for them. This beautiful sweet little boy has  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) with a restrictive Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). 

Please if you have time, read Daniel's story at & send him & his mommy a little prayer too. Whatever happens, prayers help heal & comfort hearts that hurt. Every single prayer counts.

I'm praying for my Bestie & her Mom & her family. Sometimes it just seems like when it rains, it pours sludge out of the sky. (why doesn't it ever pour Chocolate out of the sky? or hail Strawberry Shortcakes? or even like maybe Peach Pie?) She's awesome this, Bestie. She fights to stay topside & doesn't let crap sink her. I truly admire that in a person.

I may not have money but I do have heart & time & love. Those are gifts I can give & keep on giving without ever running out.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

With love & delicious Valentines!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Family Farming: Moment of MotherHood 2/13/12

Farming is so much Fun!
This is Mother Hubbard's farm.

Mother expects that on Saturday mornings all the wee little beasties will get themselves out of bed, load up their tools into the truck & get themselves to the farm to pull weeds & plant plants that we will eat this summer.

The farm however has different ideas. Weeds grow like well... weeds. Our tender little plants of sweet potatoes, papaya, bananas & taro require nurturing & babying. Lots of mothering in order to thrive.

Farming is NOT for the impatient, the selfish or the reckless. It is not for those who are in a hurry or who need immediate gratification. And it is especially not for those who have no respect or gratitude for the gifts our Earth returns to us when we care for it.

Farming is for those who need to understand that God has His own time, that plants have their own clock telling them when to sprout, to grow & to yield fruits. You can't make it grow faster than it was created too without messing with it in a not good way.

So we're farmers. We farm. Some days it feels like all we're farming are weeds & weeds & more weeds. Some day it feels like finally the little sprouts are sprouting! We're kinda like real farmers.

We're not using any chemical fertilizers or weed killers or any of that. We decided to go 100% organic with our farm. We're cutting the tall cow grass so it can dry out like straw to cover our plants, we're pulling weeds by hand instead of tossing chemicals on it. We're digging up invasive plants that are sucking up precious nutrients.

(For those of my friends & family in Samoa, who are blahblah'ing me waxing philosophical about working a plantation (which is really what this farm is) you remember me right? The girl who never worked a plantation or pulled a weed or broke a sweat digging a nothing? Yeah. And now that I don't live in Samoa - I've decided I'm a farmer & farming is pretty cool! I wish I'd learned how satisfying it is to work in the dirt under the hot sun. If I knew then what I know now - I would've done it all much sooner!)

We're still learning how to maximize the land we've been allotted (which is HUGE) so that we can grow enough produce to support our family. I actually have a hand drawn sketch of what will go where so we can get good crop return.

Even if our crops don't come out the way we expected, we're farming as a family and that's something my children are always going to remember. Some crops we plant, so that we can eat now. Some crops we plant now, so that our children & their children will eat far into the future.

With love & delicious farmin'~

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIO & Weigh It In Wednesday 2/8/12

It's a little bit late - the pictures are from earlier this week post-workout. Missed my weigh in yesterday but will absolutely get to it today in the afternoon - just as soon as this frosty 60 degree weather warms up a bit.

It's been an interesting week of experimenting with my food intakes. For the past week, I've given over but not gone completely over board with foods I'd been limiting (think: Hot buttered movie theater popcorn, marsh mellows, hopia's) with expectation that I would GAIN weight.

Not so.

-5 lbs.

Which puts me just about EXACTLY where I started nearly a month ago. Scale wise I'm back at the beginning. Tales of the tape have me losing inches in the boobs, arms, waist AND gaining an inch in the ass section (I don't understand that at all!!!).

My body amazes me. My body frustrates me.

When I give it small doses of fats & sugars - it seems to be able to release more fat.

This past week I've added in lower body weights/strengthening which I put off for a very long time because weights scare the sh*t out of me.

I'm doing weighted leg presses (160lbs! ChooHoo! I pat myself on the butt for that one! 10 reps of 3 sets) and sumo squats (20lbs each hand 10 squats/3 sets) and this other thingy called a seated something something where you sit yourself into this thingy & you're doing like sit ups or crunches with weights on your back side (60lbs 10 reps/5 sets).

So all of that is making muscles ache (not hurt) in places I didn't know my ass could ache in.

I'm running faster spurts with less breathlessness. I'm still hovering around a 12 to 13 min mile. I wonder what the hell I was on when I did a mile in 9 minutes 36 secs because I'd love to do that miracle again (which I've been unable to repeat and that timing was pre-holiday season 2011).

The scale is reading lower, the inches are still coming off (I'm losing my boobies! Thank God for double padded bras!) and I'm getting stronger (lifting heavier & longer, running stronger).

I'm not sure what this means for me. My goal isn't so much to drop pounds on the scale or inches on my tape although that's a very nice thing too! It's mostly - this is my true aim - to change my body composition. To change the way it looks, feels & works.

More than being skinny - I want to be strong enough to carry myself effortlessly, fit enough to run with my children and healthy enough to enjoy the grandchildren I have yet to hold.

With love & delicious crazy scales & tapes ~

Monday, February 6, 2012

Moment of MotherHood 2/6/12

1st night home from camp

My heart came home from his 3 day/2night class camping trip on Friday 2/3/12. It's taken me over a week to really assimilate how I feel about being (a good) Momma & letting my son unfurl his "wings".

Let me first tell you that I was a big wreck of a mother from Wednesday to Friday when my eyes & hands touched him again.

On Wednesday, I was mess but I didn't cry.
On Thursday, I was very sorely tempted to get in the van and DRIVE down to his camp & check on him just to make sure he was ok. I drove myself to Kaneohe & stayed there until 1am when it was just absolutely too late to drive all the way around the island to Waialua.
On Friday, I finally cracked. I spent 5 minutes crying that my baby, this littlest of my hearts had been gone for three days and did not miss me, did not cry for me and did not think of his poor lonely Mommy sitting at home hugging his cat FatsieCakes waiting for him to come back already.

(Ha! How do you like that image of crazy mother?)

But as I told my friend (while I was sobbing) I love my son enough to let him go so he can find out for himself to trust himself enough no matter where I am. I did NOT drive to Waialua to spy on him because it was important to Katz that he do this on his own. That made it important to me to let him.

Being a good Mom is tough. I spend a good portion of my time vacillating between sheltering my children & shoving them out the door to experience for themselves the strength of themselves.

(They can not learn to grow strong by constantly living in my shadow)

Now let me share with you what his "homecoming" was like on that Friday afternoon.

I wrapped up my meetings in Wahiawa & drove back to Laie. Katz had already asked me not to pick him up or wait for the bus to come in. So I decided to honor his wishes.

Except for that as I drove past his school, the buses were unloading a group of children. My heart leaped & sang with joy! I tuned down the lane to his school only to find out his class had already disembarked & headed to their classrooms. The children I was seeing getting off the bus were from another grade.

(There were a lot of happy parents that day)

Most of Katz's class had already been picked up by their parents or grandparents or families. When I saw Katz he was across the field dragging his luggage back to class. I called out to him. Well, to be honest - I HOLLERED out to him until he stopped and turned around and LOOKED at me.

Let me just tell you, the look on his face was not joy to see his mother. It was disappointment that I'd shown up sooner than he was ready to end his fun. I gave him a hug. He didn't quite hug me back. He told me again in that little boy/little man voice that he told me not to come till 2pm! What was I doing there?

Sufficiently chastised (and happy to have seen he was alive, safe & healthy) I went to the office to get a badge so I could stay on campus for the next hour because I sure wasn't gonna go all the way home to Kahuku just to drive back to Laie.

Those poor office ladies! They had to listen to my spiel about my son who didn't miss me at all. I told everyone I met that my son didn't miss me at Camp Erdman. I even told the Vice Principle. She laughed & asked me is Katzu your youngest? I said yes. She laughed some more and said,"That explains it."

She told me she drove over the Camp Erdman on Thursday to do field observations. She said Katzu was really showing his leadership skills. He was the one helping his bunk mates, taking care of his buddies & making sure that everyone was where they were supposed to be. He was having a grand old time rock wall climbing, hiking & doing demo's. He was shining.

(I want to cry all over again)

How is it this youngest heart of mine who I struggle to get him to be responsible for himself could be so responsible for others? They say he didn't hesitate to step & take care of any chores that needed to be done, to clean up after himself & others & to follow the rules & help his friends do the same. He also didn't hesitate to lead his entire bunkhouse on a raid of the girls bunkhouse too.

(He thinks I didn't hear about that too)

He remembered to pray each night.

(Who is this child? And who body snatched my naughty one?)

Of course no camp experience would be complete without unpacking the bags and finding out that the brand new toothbrush was still in the wrapping, the body wash & scrubber had never been opened and that the 3 pairs of underwear I sent with him came back also still with tape on them. He was missing his shorts & had lost a pillow and misplaced his spidey underoos (I have a suspicion about which girl snatched those!). But all in all, those things can be replaced.

The lessons Katz learned about trusting himself by going by himself to camp - can not be replaced. Thank you God for giving him the chance to learn that now while he is young enough to incorporate it. Thank you God for sustaining me while he was gone.

Mother Hubbard commented to me that I sent him to camp a boy and he came back a man. (Ha! As if.) I told Mother, I sent him a mouse and then he came back a man. Mother laughed at me and said,"Look at your boys! Do any of them look like a mouse to you?"

(laughs & grins)

No I don't think any of my children could ever in any life ever be a mouse. They have way to much of my heart in them for them to ever ever ever be a mouse.

Katzu: 2 yrs old
With love & delicious crazy mothering~

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIO & Weigh It In Wednesday 2/1/12

I didn't make it today for my weigh in.

I did however bust out the measuring tape to see whats up.

I now know EXACTLY where that extra weight is hiding out at. Its on my waist, my hips & my thighs. It's NOT on my boobs which are shrinking. Which sucks. Its like my fat is migrating to where all my fat is already hanging out at!!!

(* in my best sarcastic voice*Kill me already. I don't even want to see the scale any more.)

Where is this fat coming from?????

Mostly its just been a crazy as all hell sort of week. My sister was sick & hospitalized last week. She was in ICU for a couple of days & has been home this week recovering. Our car needed service over the weekend & major repairs are in order. Katzu as you can tell from my previous post left for camp this morning. I had meetings on different ends of the island today too.

Driving here can take hours out of my life! Especially if I have to follow sloooooooooooow tourists who are soaking up the fantastic Hawaiian coastline while driving 10 miles an hour.

I am tired. Even after napping, I'm still tired. De-stressing is a slow process for me.

I'll get on the scale tomorrow & I won't beat myself up when it tells me I've gained weight.
(I say this as I eat a slice of Pizza Hut New Yorker Pizza. Just one slice. and just one chicken wing. No sauce)

Stress it seems can de-rail any weight loss.

I've tried to stick to food logging this past 7 days. But to be honest, I struggled with it. As each situation came up & the piled on - it got harder & harder to stick to eating clean. By Saturday, I was worn out & eating chocolate chip cookies. Sunday I was eating iced oatmeal cookies AND chocolate animal crackers.

That is not good.

By Monday I got a grip on it and had a fantastic punishing work out in the gym. I ran & did weights. Tuesday, same thing. I took today as a No Workout Day since I was busy every damn where. Yesterday I was really pushing it in the weight room. Resting is just as important as Working Out.

I've got it under better control today. No chocolate & no sugar for the past 3 days. Trying to get my sleeping back to regular. Workout scheduled for tomorrow.

Re-setting my mental toughness.

With love & (un)delicious scales & tapes ~

P.S. I didn't want to take my picture for the week because I'm fatter this week & so not cute. But honesty & honor compel me to do it anyway. It's part of my 2012 challenge from my friend Stacey to log a photo of myself each week. So.... here it is:

Moment of Motherhood 2/1/12

This is my heart getting ready to leave me. Hurrying off to his Camp Erdman class field trip. 

 He never once looked back at me. He was too busy starting his adventures, talking with his friends, excited to get on the bus & get on his way.

I walked around the bus to tap on his window. Again he was busy talking & laughing & taking pictures with his friends.

There goes my little face, this little person who's as tall as me now & certainly much smarter than me. My heart seizes up watching him leave & I ask myself for the billionth time - have I made the right decision to let him go to a 3 day camp without me?

(Seriously,God? Am I ready for this?)

We've had years to work to this day. He's been gunning for a chance to go to Camp Erdman with his entire 3rd grade class & more importantly without me ever since Robyna went 3 years ago & Tafi went 2 years ago. He's planned on going & persistently kept at me to make the scheduled payments on his accounts, purchase his gear in advance, pack his duffel bag & mark my calendar with a big February 1 as his day.

Now he's gone. He's at his camp with his class & friends. I can see him in my mind's eye - laughing & joking & sharing his sub sandwich & chips with his group of buddies. He made sure to pack extra puddings to share with his best buddy Mac. The sun is warm, the trade winds are gentle. Right now, where he is - its lots of fun & sun.

(I wish I was there)

I'm home with my other two children, my niece & nephew and all of us agree -
we're not the same without him.

(How are we going to manage without him for 3 days?)

Our home is quieter, there is no Katzu to nag & pester his way into the thick of things. He isn't here to harass Tafi about a million different things that Tafi doesn't want to talk about. He isn't here to nag at Simz either about the latest cartoon character. He isn't here to tell me Did I hear about what happened at school to so & so?

I want to cry for myself because here's my baby, my last, my littlest & he's striking forward so independently! He will not miss me as much as I already miss him. I'm conflicted: He is growing past me - the way that he should & this is a good thing. He is exactly where he should be. I'm so very proud of him!

I miss my baby. I want my baby back.

(I know. He isn't a baby. But he's always going to be my baby)

I wished for a moment today that his father was here. Selfishly, I wished it for myself. I know him well enough to know what he would tell me if he was here ~ that I was making a cake of myself & I should leave the boy alone because I was babying him too much.

(See? Even deadbeat dads can have a purpose in my (imaginary) life)

With love & delicious kids on a field trip ~