Draft saved 7 months ago: “Retired”

So lolo!! I just found this in my draft saved 7 months ago.  I guess I started an entry and totally forgot about it.  BAM!  Not too late I suppose.

Mom officially retired as of July 31, 2017.  “Now what?” She asked. Dad replied “mo betta we go holoholo in da mainland”  They flew up with the kids and Joy in early August and stayed till September 26th.  The plan is to spend half the year here with all of us and the other half back home.  They had appointments and needed to check on their house.  I think they weren’t ready to stay that long yet. Hopefully they will stay longer when they return in February.  We’ll see …

We wanted to take them to Tahoe and/or Reno but dad is superstitious.  Apparently it’s bad luck to participate in any kind of gambling when someone in the family dies and hasn’t been buried yet.  We lost Auntie Joyce Agsalda in July and her services were scheduled in late August.  Then, another family member – Auntie Elisa Agsalda passed away too. He didn’t even buy lotto tickets and scratchers  for that matter.  Julie and I took Mom and Dad to the city to check out the Presidio and drive through the Golden Gate Bridge.  Well … I kept driving through Marin County and we ended up in Rohnert Park.  That is where Graton Casino is at!  I told him he’ll be fine.  It’s not like he planned on going to a casino.  And if anything … just walk around for the “exercise”.  After walking the boundary of the slot machines we sat at the food court and had some coffee and a light snack.  Of course I convinced them to go for it!  Nothing bad is gonna happen.  I think while we were walking he already found the machine he was going to sit at.   Yup!  Wheel of Fortune – progressive

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May 2018


It’s been too long since my last entry!!

This is our most recent breakfast meeting before mom and pops head back to Hawaii.  Pop’s got bored … no dirt to till, garden to tend or even veggies to pick.  He had about enough for now.  May 6th @ IHOP Union City, CA


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Life happens …

Wow!  It’s been a while … Three months to be exact.   A lot has happened since the last entry.  I can barely remember what happened yesterday let alone the last few months.   Let’s see … I’ll just summarize.  Joy, Ty, Isa and Mom and Dad came back from Hawaii in mid August.  Mom officially retired so they decided to come spend a couple months here.  Let’s see … We celebrated Jami’s 26th and Jordan’s 27th birthday that month too.  These millennials try to act like adults but they have no clue!!  Or perhaps we’re just parents who are in denial … Regardless, they are still our kids and our pain in the ass!  Gotta love them!

Niko Boy turned 6 months in September.  His pediatrician says he’s ahead of his percentile based on his stats.  Ya think?  He’s already 26 pounds and almost 2 feet!  As soon as doc gave the green light we introduced him to real food.  He enjoys table food more than that pre packaged baby stuff.  He still drinks his formula before naps and at bedtime.  He’s already pulling himself up from the furniture to stand.  Growing up too fast.  I’m already starting to plan his first birthday luau in March 2018. Josie and Vic took Mom and Dad to visit some of his relatives in the Fresno area as well as Daly City during the weekends.  She escorted them back to Hawaii the last week of September.

We’re already half way through October!  According to the calendar there are nine Wednesdays left before Christmas.  All the Halloween stuff are already on clearance and Christmas decorations are filling the shelves! Really?  CCD started up again so our Saturday mornings are spent volunteering at church.  I currently have four 6th grade students in class for now.  They will be getting the sacrament of Holy Communion at Easter.  They’re so excited because they get to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ and the girls really want to wear white dresses and a vail.

I came across this photo while I was searching for Jami’s first birthday album.  Taken in the late 80’s possibly early 90’s at Pier 39 in San Francisco.  Definitely before kids! HA!


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He’s so precious!!  He turned four months on 4th of July!  He’s currently 26 inches and weighs 17 pounds.  Yup! He’s a big boy!

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My little Niko

firt pics

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Vivid – Charlotte is this yours?

via Daily Prompt: Vivid


Is this silken labyrinth merely a resting place for the creature who spun it?  She could be waiting at the edge for her next meal to entangle itself in this mesh like trap.  Or perhaps an intricate maze designed to lure and hypnotize you until you lose yourself in its continuous pattern. If you listen you may hear “do you want a friend Wilbur?  I’ve been watching you all day and I like you.  I’ll be a friend to you

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Love at first sight

Having two children of my own and delivering them through natural childbirth, I knew first hand about the miracle of life. It’s a beautiful thing …. But, I also knew too well the discomfort and pain that my body had to endure during labor and delivery.  It’s extremely painful and during peaks of contractions it was straight up torture!! It’s something I would not wish on anyone so call me crazy for doing it again!!  At least I knew about the drugs the second time so it was less agonizing but a little more tolerable.

I don’t remember being told (or I simply didn’t pay attention) about the 3 stages of labor: early, active and transition.  The doc at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital gave me a quick reminder when I took Jami in Thursday morning @ 2:30am as she started having contractions 10 minutes apart. She was definitely in the early labor phase  because she was dilated 3 cm and her cervix was only 70% thinned.  So after a few hours and no progress, they advised her to go home, do some walking and continue with her daily routine.  Early Saturday morning about 4am I get a phone call from her saying that Tavita is taking her in because her contractions are now more intense and 5 minutes apart.  She was admitted and considered in the “active labor” phase.  She was now 8cm dilated and still feeling okay but a bit anxious.  She was advised about pain killers and spoke with an anesthesiologist about her options.  We arrived around 5am hoping this baby will be here soon.  It was a waiting game from that point on.  By 10am I started to get restless and impatient so Isa and I walked around and ended up in the Stanford Hospital which is connected to LPCH. Both facilities are huge and they are doing construction on both hospitals.  They are adding a brand new wing to each building and erecting a huge parking structure to accommodate them.  Anyway, by the time we got back around 11:30am, Jami was just checked and she was still at 8cm so they added pitocin to her IV.  It’s used to help intensify her contractions.  And it worked!!  It got so intense and painful it would make her cry and moan and curl her body into a ball.  She was definitely in the transition stage.  But, she refused to take pain meds so I got her focus on my voice and we took deep and controlled breaths together and rode out each contraction.  I took lamaze classes when I was pregnant with her and that technique flew out the window when I went into labor! Somehow it all came back to me while I stood next to her bed and held her hand and rode out each contraction with her.  Oh my God!  I am amazed how she tolerated the pain!  I asked her again about meds and she refused.  It was shortly after 3:30pm when she said she had the urge to poop.  Tavita buzzed the the nurse’s station and a team dressed fully in blue scrubs walked in with all kinds of equipment, extra linen and stuff that looked like trash bags.  It was like a scene in Grey’s Anatomy.  Dr. Pao, was the doc in charge.  She was like a maestro at an opera sitting center stage at the foot of Jami’s bed.  She conducted all of us in the room to play our role.  Tavita had her right leg placed on the right stir up and I was on her left side doing the same.  The room was a buzzed with synchronized activity. The pediatrician and her nurse were in the corner of the room preparing baby’s incubation thingy. It reminds me of a french fry warmer …, there was another nurse behind me watching the monitor which was tracking baby’s heartbeat.  Another set of people, perhaps residents/interns on each side of Dr. Pao seemed to be simply observing.  When she would get a contraction, Dr. Pao would tell Jami to take a deep breath and hold it for ten seconds, curl her chin to her chest and push with all her might.  At the same time she had Tavita and I grab each foot by the heel, bring it towards Jami and gently spread her legs apart to help open her pelvic cavity to allow the baby to pass. We did this three times during each contraction and each time I could see the baby’s head.  As soon as the contraction ceased his head would go back in.  He was playing peek a boo with us.  It seemed like we were doing this for hours! But as I glanced at the clock it had only been 15 maybe 20 minutes.  I wiped Jami’s forehead with the cold cloth I prepared earlier for her. She was working really hard trying to push this baby out and I could tell she was getting exhausted.  We continued for another 15 minutes then the nurse who was monitoring the baby’s heartbeat said something in medical terms and all I remember was the doc pulling these silver spoon like utensils about a foot long with elongated ladles from the table that was covered with blue plastic next to her.  She instructed Tavita and I to step back allowing the two interns next to her to replace us.  I recognized those objects she inserted into the vagina as forceps. Things got surreal in a flash.  I asked the nurse what’s going on and she replied by saying “we are concerned for the baby because his heart rate drops whenever Jami tries to push.  Since he’s been “stuck” in the birth canal for a while they are going to use the forceps to help him out.  We can’t tell if the umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck causing him to lose oxygen but we weren’t taking any risks.”   All I heard was no heart beat and STRESS but I had to stay calm for Tavita and Jami’s sake.  I could see the panic in Tavita’s eyes so I gave him an assuring it’ll be okay nod. With the forceps clamped on each side of baby’s head, Doctor Pao gently pulled and tugged as Jami pushed. They did this a couple of times.  As I stood in the background, I had a full view of everything.  I was so worried for the baby as well as Jami so I prayed to God to keep them both safe.

In the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

I stood there dumbfounded.  My baby was having her baby.  I wanted to comfort her and take away all the pain and suffering she was going through.  I was willing to take her place. I couldn’t move from where I was standing but I wanted to wipe the sheen of perspiration from her forehead, dab the bead of sweat above her lip, hold her hand  and rub her arm … be MOM.

Finally, Doctor Pao had Jami bear down and give it her all!  She pushed with all her might making her face turn beet red. Slowly and surely his head emerged.  As the doc placed the forceps on the table, I could see he had a conehead but it’s normal.  He was completely out now but still linked to Jami by the umbilical cord.  BUT,  he was not breathing yet.  It seemed like the seconds ticked by slower than normal.  The doc placed him on Jami’s belly so the pediatrician and nurse could take his vitals and rubbed him and wiped him dry until he gasped for air and started crying.  Then, the doc cut his cord. Tears of joy and happiness fell from my eyes down my cheeks.  Thank you Lord!

Happy Birthday Joseph Sione Puniani Nikolas Manatuloto Maumalanga.  My little Niko for short. Born March 4th, 2017. 8lbs, 11-1/2 oz  and 21-1/2″ long.  Vivi loves you!


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Groundhog Day 2017

Raised in Hawaii, all year round the day temperatures were usually 78-88 degrees so we really didn’t have “seasons” and I never paid attention to Groundhog Day.  Well, this morning I turned on the TV to check on the weather and the news reported that Phil the groundhog saw his own shadow which meant six more weeks of cold weather.  Old Man Winter is going to be around for another month and a half. I was a little disappointed to see that the “heavy” rains we were expecting early this morning had not arrived!  It’s not even sprinkling yet.  I like the rain and we still need a lot of it.  It’s the idiot drivers who don’t take caution and drive like they’re invincible that irritates me.  UGH!

Today is brother Glenn’s 40th and our cousin Verna’s 51st birthday.  Because it’s a work day we are planning a birthday bash this weekend which is also Superbowl LI.  We are putting all kinds of meat on the grill and Tiffany is bringing up local goodies from Hawaii and I’m making paella.  As usual, we have a buffet of great eats and unlimited beverages!! img_2019

I haven’t made any entries since December because I’ve been so busy …. enjoying life! My KIDZILLA is going to New York and Boston in the spring with a group of her classmates!

Nailed It!


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Bay area backroads


On our way home from doing our Sunday groceries I decided to take the back roads because the freeway was jam packed with traffic.  Both the Raiders and Niners didn’t have any home games but people were out and about doing holiday shopping.   There were no clouds hovering above and the sky was blue.  It was so clear you could see for days!  I had to pull over and just appreciate nature.  It had rained all day this past Thursday and even a little bit on Friday morning.  But it cleared up Friday night and the temperatures dipped to lower 30’s  resulting in frost on Saturday morning.  Today was a repeat of yesterday and the hills are lush and green again!  Such a tranquil and peaceful sight.

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Che Che Cole

It’s funny when you find out the song or phrase you’ve been singing or saying is not the right words at all!  I do it all the time and the family just says I’m freestylin again! I have so many songs that I “freestyle” to and still do it all the time. Just recently, I was listening to Marc Anthony’s El Cantante soundtrack.  The fourth song of that track is Aguanile.  It begins with Marc Anthony’s amazing vocal range which is followed by the timbales and conga drums that is part of salsa music.  I have yet to translate that song but that’s another blog.  Anyway, the beat had my feet moving one way and my hips going the other, I was totally in my groove so it’s a good thing I was by myself.  As the song ended with trumpets blowing, I was now warmed up and ready for the next song.  It starts with the piano playing a sequence of notes followed by the beat of congas and trumpets blowing.  So I’m getting in my dance mode again and Marc begins to sing the song … salsa music has similar beat in different tempo – wait a minute!  I’m tone deaf! what do I know?  Eh who cares … my story … Anyway, I digress AGAIN!!!  So I’m listening to the lyrics and it sounds familiar but kinda different!  “Hey!” I thought to myself.  I recognize this chant. But I remember it as:  che che colei, che colisa, isa somanga, o man che che!  Flashback!!!

6th grade camp at Camp Erdman.  Both schools (there were other sixth graders from another elementary school from town) sitting around the campfire after we just hunted for sand crabs.  Our camp leader was telling a “spooky” story about going on a buta (pig) hunt. He followed up by getting the whole crowd engaged in a “repeat after me” chant which is the che che cole chant!!

What?  I had to hear it again!  I hit replay and listened again.  Was I singing the wrong words this whole time?  Of course I was!  The beat was definitely catchy so I listened again.  Then, I was really curious and googled that bad boy!  It’s not originally from Hawaii – in fact it has African roots.  See!  We already had ebonics back in the day!!!

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