Monday, May 31

the worst few minutes of my life

GOD always has a way of reminding me who's in control, and why i cannot give up the good fight. last night i was faced with the fear of losing my child when Laila had a seizure in the middle of her sleep.

mid afternoon, laila began to be feverish, and automatically i knew it was because she has 6 new teeth coming in. bo's parents urged us to take her to the hospital, but we assumed it was just a normal fever and that we could fight it with tylenol/motrin easily. she was sleepy most of the rest of the day and wanted nothing else but to nurse. i should've been tipped off when i saw her shaking a bit when she was wanting to go to sleep. she had not eaten since lunch and it was nearing 9pm when i saw it. but again, i didn't give it much thought because of her teething and i thought that she had felt better after the medicine and playing with me and her sisiter for a good hour. she fell asleep on her stomach and almost 45 mins later we heard her cry a bit...and then my husband screamed when he saw that she had stiffened up and he recognized that "look" she had in her face (his little sister constantly had seizures as a kid). by the time i turned around she was shaking in that stiff position, with her teeth clenched. as we tried to pry her mouth open and get our fingers in there to keep her tongue down and mouth open for air, her eyes were still open but not "there"...her body was still stiff as i held her tightly and pushed my fingers through her mouth. she chomped down so hard, but i didn't care if she bit my finger off, as long as i could keep the airway open and stop her from swallowing her tongue (i was in panic mode and had NO IDEA what to do. luckily bo had seen this so many times before as a kid, so i listened to him instruct me on how to handle her.) i screamed a lot. i yelled for his dad, i think it was because i wanted someone near who could give her a blessing. moments later, her teeth were still clamping on my fingers, but her face started to turn blue, and her eyes rolled back...even her body stopped was the worst feeling in the world. i just kept yelling at her to get up and listen to mommy's voice. when i heard her moaning about 15 seconds later, i knew that she was still alive. her chomp loosened up but she wouldn't wake up...i feared the worst as i tried to look for signs as we drove to the hospital. and then the thought of going to the junkest hospital in the world just made me cringe even more, but since i wanted her to get attention ASAP, we had no choice.

what the doctors called a "fever seizure" is common they say, because sometimes it's not how hot a child gets, but how quickly their temp can jump, even just a few degrees.she was 100.4 when we got there but she was able to cry and opened her eyes there. after tests, they decided that she MAY or MAY NOT have a little pneumonia (yah, i don't get what "may or may not" means either)...she must've been closer to "may not" because they just sent us home with some antiboitics and more tylenol because her vitals were good and they couldn't find any reason to keep her. by the time we came home she was already feeling cooler. dad stopped at the store to get popsicles and juice and soup, and let me tell you i have never been so happy to see her eat...ever. she even talked to us, laughed and danced, and walked around until she fell asleep in her grandma's arms.

while waiting for laila's test results at the ER, my daughter lole and i had a moment. laila was sleeping in my arms and all the emotion caught up to me, especially the guilt every mother feels when anything happens to their child. i looked over and saw that it was the same for lole, the emotion had caught up to her too and she was holding back the tears until i called her name. we cried together. she was so sad.  i told her i would say a prayer for her sister so that she would feel better and so that those around her could feel comfort that she would be ok. it was during this time that i realized all the drama from the day before--fighting with my husband because of his alcohol problem and not coming home from work until 8am the next day--is all so INSIGNIFICANT when compared to the bigger picture: the well-being and safety of my kids, my overall happiness as their mother, and our future together as a family.

as always, my mountains seem so small when compared to the love that can MOVE those mountains, the love of a heavenly father who continually shows me how to realign my priorities/feelings and to cherish my children like the true gifts that they are. while experiencing the worst few minutes of my life, heavenly father brought me to remembrance of who's in control...that my trials are teaching me to lay the burden where it belongs so i can focus on my children, my family, and the joy that can be attained.

Thursday, May 20

sweet sweat

     i haven't made any time to exercise in so long that i had almost forgotten how much i love to least when it comes to sports, and physical exercise.  as a new fan of BIGGEST LOSER, i'm always so moved to change/improve my physical health...and then i wake up the next morning and forget about how inspired i was, until the next show. last night i was so stressed/irritated that i just needed to get out and i ran.(well, mostly walk for now). it brought me back to a time when i was a teen and i heard my parents arguing. back then we lived on moana st--the haole side, lol--so i ran to byuh and around the big circle twice without stopping. that had never happened before even though i played high school sports. (always HATED running!) it was so therapeutic and it was the first time i ever realized the importance of physical exercise on the emotional state of mind.
     last night during my hour of running/walking, i spoke to my heavenly father. in my mind and out loud, i went over my most important troubles, things that i could never bring myself to speak to another human ear. and then it hit me how much i had needed this outlet. when i walked, i talked/thought things over. and when i ran, i forgot about them to focus on my will. it is amazing how our physical and mental capacities have the power to influence each other. i hope i have found a new friend in running (exercise in general), because sweat is so sweet to me. it assures me that mind and body are working, not just for my heath, but also to better my soul.

Tuesday, May 11


Lole had her very first May Day this year on the 6th. Her preschool performs with Kahuku Elementary, so unlike Laie who had theirs @ PCC (my preferred venue), Kahuku had theirs at BYUH Canon Activities Center (nice only for the AC). The week leading up to May Day was pretty exciting, I mean if you live in Hawaii, namely the North Shore, you know that May Day is like no other. Rather than stick to the usual Polynesian cultures, our Kahuku/Laie schools typically choose a wide range of countries/themes to represent. For instance, my nephew's 3rd grade class did South Africa, 4th graders did Bollywood, and the 5th graders did a 80s Rock-n-Roll themed production, all of which were awesome!
Lole's classmates did AMERICA, and had little boys come in on 3 wheeled bikes like a biker gang. Then they walked on to the stage in a flag formation and did 3 different numbers.The boys did a short Born in the USA, then the girls followed by the girls' short Chippette version of Single Ladies, and then they all came together at the end with Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA. It was way cute and I was so bummed that my husband had to miss it for work, but the video coverage was enough to serve as a reminder that you just HAVE TO BE THERE next time.


My sister (pictured with her family) was in it too because she is a PTT (part time teacher) there, and helped the Kindergarten class with SAMOA, and then she participated in the faculty/staff Ho Down Throw Down number. I was so proud of Lole and her cousins, and even my sister for doing such a great job! It was definitely a "first" that I will never forget!

Wednesday, May 5

Tagiilima Togiai

while watching tv this afternoon, my sis-in-law heard the faint sound of crying coming from somewhere downstairs. at first i thought i was hearing things, and then i just started running when i realized it was not crying, but wailing. the sounds got louder towards the side of the house, and sure enough, there under the ulu tree sat my aunty L (bo's mom's sister) who was on the phone. i was scared. i thought something had happened to her or her husband (who wasn't there), because what else could make a woman cry so painfully? even though I had NO idea what her reasons were just yet, my aunt's "oiaue's" were enough to break my heart into a million pieces. she could barely get out a sentence, when asked what was wrong, and as i hugged her close, she screamed something in tongan, and then it became clear when she uttered the word "mate" (die/dead)...and then her granddaughter's name, "Tagi."
this is the story and the video coverage of what happened to our dear niece, our aunty's granddaughter. 
aunty L and her husband T bloomfield have been living with us since '08 because they love it here, but their real home is in west valley, utah, where their granddaughter died today. my heart grieves for all the family members, even tagi's great-grandmother (aunty L's mom), who was left to care for the children when this tragedy occurred. i cried a lot for aunty L, for the sorrow in her face, and the pain in her every so often she would just break down in rounds of "oiaue".  i cried thinking about the pain all adult parties have, because we are a people of conscience, and when things like this happen to children, there is always a burden of guilt...of "what if?" but mostly, i cried for tagi. i know she is in a better place now, but how alone and scared tagi must have been...oh, it is unbearable to think about what she suffered in her last moments.

lole played with tagi 2 summers ago when they visited from utah. they were around the same age. tagi was quiet, but unafraid. she rarely cried. she is survived by her tongan mother, elesi (elsie) bloomfield and her samoan father, junior togiai and her 4 other siblings. she is one of (just about) 40 of aunty L's grandchildren. she will be sorely missed, and my prayer is that all of tagi's family may be comforted by the Savior's healing power and the love of our Heavenly Father.

rest in peace baby girl.  xxx

view her obituary here.