Sunday, March 20, 2011

Due Date

It's hard to believe that given my history of being overdue, today I should still look like this:

Instead, I am lucky to be 25 lbs lighter and get to snuggle my sweet baby from the outside, rather than in.

Today I am more than grateful I am not still pregnant, but I wouldn't mind if my sweet baby were 1 day old again. He is already growing so fast!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mānoa Benjamin

It's hard to believe a week has passed since we welcomed our sweet baby boy into our family. Mānoa Benjamin Vakameilalo Tu'ifua arrived at 10:09 a.m. on March 7th, at 8 lbs 6 oz and 20 inches long. I feel so blessed that I was able to carry him to 38 weeks and that we are both healthy and doing well.

My doctor and the nurses and staff at the hospital were SO good to make sure my delivery this time around was easier emotionally and physically than when I had to have an emergency c-section with Jacob. It was a much better experience all around and already I am recovering so much better than before.

Mānoa is an angel baby. I don't want to jinx myself, but it appears he will be much calmer and easier than Jacob was. He is already on a schedule, and is a great sleeper at night and only wakes every 3-4 hours to eat. Some unique characteristics - he has a small patch of blond hair above his left ear and long fingers and fingernails. Other than that, I feel like I am looking at Jacob as a newborn all over again!

Jacob had a hard time the first day adjusting to his new baby brother, and said several times at the hospital "No baby Mānoa ." However, by the time we checked out, he actually smiled while holding him. Now that we are home, he has turned into a big helper and pats his head when he cries, helps change his diaper, holds his binky in his mouth and gives him lots of kisses. He does however still have bouts of jealousy where he wants attention - the funniest to me has been that he demands he get HIS diaper changed first. All in all, he's handled the transition great!

Having a new baby is a little slice of heaven. I don't know that there is anything better in the world than snuggling my baby in my arms!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New & Improved

I had been waiting to do anything with Jacob's room until we knew the gender of the baby and would therefore know whether I had to figure out something gender neutral, or could go all out BOY. As soon as I found out Jacob would have a little brother, I knew I wanted to copy the design from this blog. Surprisingly enough, it took me a couple months to get the guts to do it. I was worried the navy would make the room too dark, or that one day the white on the bottom would come back to haunt me, (i.e. imagine what could happen if markers fell into the hands of toddlers if left unattended) but I finally went with it, and I am loving it!



It obviously still needs lots of work with accessories, bedding, etc; and it will never look as awesome as the room I got the idea from, but it is amazing how much a bit of paint and trim can transform a room!

I originally had considered using beadboard, but after pricing it, it just wasn't in our budget, and I had heard it can be a pain to install. Instead, the faux board and batten was SO easy and because we already had the white paint left over from finishing the basement, all we had to buy was the blue paint and trim, totaling a mere $114.27.

And for good measure, a recent picture of the soon-to-be big brother who is loving his new room!

Not the best picture as he is sick (crossing my fingers he'll get better quickly and we'll all get at least one full night of sleep before baby arrives!) but as you can see, my little guy is all grown up. I can't wait to see him love on his baby brother!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Life as we now know it

For any of you who still read this blog, don't have a heart attack. Yes, it's true, I am posting! Hopefully it will be a more regular occurrence because it is something I enjoy and that I have missed, but just couldn't warrant the time to keep up with it until now.

Many have asked for an update on my pregnancy complications and what exactly I am up to these days... so this may not be the greatest "comeback" post, but hopefully I'll have more interesting posts in the near future!

At the beginning of January I went to my 29 week OB appointment and my only worry was that I had put on way too much weight over the holidays. Lucky for me, weight gain was great (only 3 lbs over the past 4 weeks!) but I had elevated blood pressure and traces of protein in my urine sample. So, my doctor ordered a non-stress test and more extensive labwork to test for preeclampsia. Long story short, at that point I wasn't concerned and assumed the results would come back negative. WRONG. I went to my appointment a week later and was officially diagnosed. Unfortunately for me, I have known people who had suffered from worst-case scenario preeclampsia and freaked out. Yet luckily for me, I was at the best-case scenario stage and should I worsen, I was far enough along that hopefully my baby boy would survive without any long-term damage.

The month of January was spent trying to finish up at my job, trying to get at least the important things in order should I need to deliver early, undergoing twice-a-week NST's, labwork and doctor appointments, all while trying to "take it easy" so that my blood pressure stayed at a normal level.

This past week was my first full week as a real stay-at-home mom, and I have loved it! It was hard to leave work after having been there for 5 1/2 years, but surprisingly the transition has been much easier than I anticipated. It is amazing how much I can get done in one day at home - clean, cook a healthy meal, play with my little monster and still fit in a nap and some "me" time! Aside from the continued twice-a-week tests that can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, life is good!

It has been a physically and emotionally past few weeks and I am already exhausted from all the testing, etc. However, the one positive in all of this - because of my condition, they won't let me carry past 38 weeks, so the c-section is scheduled and I know that 4 weeks from now I will officially be DONE being pregnant and have a beautiful new baby boy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Home Sweet Home

So apparently my "comeback" took longer for me to make than anticipated. I blame it all on my full-time job as a legal assistant, full-time job as a mother of an energetic 1 year old, full-time job of trying to find my husband a job so I can ditch my full-time job, time consuming new calling at church on top of the usual dishes, cleaning, cooking, exercising... you get the picture.

But here they are at long last. The long awaited house pictures. I owe it to my missionary brother who finally got me motivated to take some after he requested them for the tenth time, because, who can say no to a missionary? :)

The main reason I've been putting off posting pictures?? Lack of a clean house. These were taken during the five minutes after cleaning that the house actually stays clean. My second reason? Lack of decorating. I still have boxes to unpack, pictures to hang, window treatments to make and rooms to paint. I've finally come to terms with the fact that it will probably always be a work in progress, and that I won't have much time to dedicate to making it mine as long as I have all of the above going on.

So, without further adieu...

Front/side view

Back view

Family room from front door

Kitchen from front door

Kitchen from laundry/pantry

Laundry/pantry off the kitchen
(awesome floor to ceiling pantry shelves on opposite side)

Main bath
(probably my fav room in the house, probably because it is the only one I've actually done anything with! Still needs work though... what to put above the toilet???)

Jacob's room
(Sorry, no pic of the master; too messy! I'll update once we have it painted/refurnished)

Downstairs rec room
(Yes, we need more furniture! Slowly but surely. The doors on either side open into unfinished space of what will be two bedrooms. Hooray for tax returns so we can finally get to work on that. Then there will be no excuse for you all to not come visit! There is also a second bath down here and lots and lots of storage space.)

And last but not least, the tile deserves a picture of its own, because a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into laying it. And yes, Jacob messes it up on a daily basis. It was A LOT of work, but looks nice when it's clean!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Back from hiding...

This blog has officially been stagnant for six months now, and it is time for that to END. :) I am not even sure any readers of this blog remain after having been MIA for so long. But for any of you that care, I plan to update current as well as past events, for sake of journaling and record keeping. My main ambition this year is to create a book of the blog through the end of 2009, and to do so, I have a lot of catching up to do! So for any of you lingering readers who are curious as to what has happened in our lives the past six months, check back soon!

For now, here's a pic of the not-so-little guy that makes our life worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tu'ifua Reunion 2009

The main purpose of our trip to Washington was to attend the Tu'ifua reunion in Seattle. It included all Tu'ifua's from Vaka's great-grandpa's line of 13 sons. We camped at Camp Lakeview, WA and it was absolutely gorgeous. Literally. I told Vaka to quit school so we could move. :)

Ulu'amu and his kids/grandkids at the reunion

Because of school, our trip was shorter than we would have liked, and it was hard to leave before the reunion was over. However, in the time we were there we enjoyed EATING, swimming in the lake, EATING, dancing, EATING, playing cards, EATING, spending time with family and of course, EATING. It was a Tongan reunion - you get the point! Here are just a few of the many pictures...

Three generations of Tu'ifua boys

Our little family. Check out that view!

Breakfast with Kristen, Lillie & Bradley.
So glad my awesome sis-in-law was there so I wasn't the only non native Tongan speaker!

Vaka's aunties - Solia, Tae and 'Anau

Vaka and his cousin Mele

'Ulu & his new wife Naioka. So good to finally meet her!

Tu'ifua's chillin'

All of the Tu'ifua's from Grandpa Feliha'a's line

We love any opportunity we have to spend with Vaka's family since we don't get to see them often living so far away. We've been lucky to see many of them this year and I was so happy to have Jacob finally meet his Tu'ifua cousins. It was a fun for me to meet so many of Vaka's extended family and finally put faces to names and mentally figure out all the relations, which as you can imagine, isn't simple! Though sometimes the culture can be overwhelming and the language barrier frustrating, it is such a blessing to be a part of such a large, loving family.