Family


My Dream Perfect Day

As mothers and wives we wish we had those perfect days where everything would go smoothly. Kids wouldn’t fight us to get to bed, they will eat all their food we put in front of them, and maybe just maybe husbands would come home and immediately help with the children. I know it sounds like a blissful dream, but I am determined to make it into some kind of reality….(reality as in 80-95% goes to plan)  I know it would be a miracle if I was to ever experience a perfect day but just for the sake of day dreaming and keeping my hopes alive right…. arohaandi

Some of you working mothers are already saying you already have a blissful life you are at home with your baby what more can you want… I guess I would prefer to have a little more structure in my day instead of just doing things randomly…

6.00am Wake Up and Meditate Read Scriptures

7.00am Workout

8.00am Breakfast for baby and I

8.30am Baby Playtime on her own. I pick up things around the house and get ready for the day

10.00am Morning Naptime for baby and I Work on my “Work”

11.30am Wake Up from nap and have lunch for both of us

12.30pm Do an activity/park, playdate, play games play alone Preferably I join in on this activity

2.30pm Afternoon Nap for both or I get back to “Work”

4.30pm Baby Wakes up and we start picking up the mess and get dinner ready

5.30pm Daddy and dinner time

6.30pm Playtime

7.30pm Get ready for bed or bathtime

8.30pm Baby is in bed Mum goes back and does a bit of “Work”

9.30pm Mummy and Daddytime

10.30pm Light OUT!!!!

So this is what my perfect day would look like.. I know there isn’t anything crazy exciting or different about this day. But if I could make dinner and have the house clean before my husband got home would be a miracle!!  So I hope he doesn’t get his hopes up to much that this will happen.  Usually my day consists of accomplishing a few of these things of my list to do generally not all of them as it would be a miracle if she slept perfectly at these times too!!!

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So if you got to have a perfect day what would it look like? or for you who don’t have kids what would your perfect day consist of??? Comment and share your thoughts below! :)

 

 

 

 

 


Summer Family Actvities

Seeing everybody going on vacation to fun places this summer makes me want to go on a vacation too!!!! Hawaii, Mexico a Cruise anything!!! But I have to remind myself to look at my blessings and what we have done as a family and be grateful for those things instead of wishing for things we don’t have especially seeing we have a 4week long vacation in December. So while in this thought process I have compiled a list of small things we did this summer instead of going on a big vacation. So if you are like me and are stuck at home this summer here are some things you can do as a family to make the most of it!!!!

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1. HIKES: We went on a family walk/hike up to this waterfall it was a small  easy walk but with a nice view at the end. This is fun just for an afternoon activity. I think once baby gets a bit older and she doesn’t need as many naps throughout the day we may do a half day hike and picnic at the top.

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2. Lakes/Beaches: Conners parents have a condo up at bearlake so at least twice in the summer we go up with the family. It really is a site for my sore eyes. Living so close to the beach in New Zealand makes me miss it so much more since I’m away from it. But there are lots of things to do up here in the summer time.

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3. Picnic/BBQ: We have had lots of fun packed lunch picnics at parks and bbqs with friends. What better time to enjoy eating outside than in the summer time. Plus baby loves being outside and she can make as much mess as she likes and I don’t have to worry about cleaning up!

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4. Fireworks: I think we went at least 3 firework shows this summer. The shows were entertaining but I think Conner enjoyed them a lot more than baby did. I think as she gets older it will be way more fun for her. Also it was always past her nap time which was kind of annoying as it messed up her schedules.

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5. Theme parks: This summer we were lucky we were able to go to Lagoon for free with Conner’s work, unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures while we were there. We lost our keys and phone on one of the rides as well. This photo was taken at a little park that had a mini golf and other small games in the park we did on a friday afternoon with Conners work as well. I just tagged along for the food.

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6. Outdoor Museums: So this is a pretty cool park that had indoor and outdoor museums dedicated to dinosaurs. They were everywhere literally felt like we were in Jurassic park. All sorts of fun trails but again baby was still young to know what was happening it was more for us to chat and hang out with some friends. Cost: Free on a Special Day

7. Fair Grounds: This was fun if you just want to go and walk around and see the petting zoo. We didn’t take baby with us because we were going to watch the demolition derby. But the fair has lots of fun shows to watch as well as carnival games to play. Only thing that stinks is you have to pay for every little activity you want to do inside and the over prices delicious food they have everywhere Cost: $6-$30

8. Swimming Pools/Splash Pads: What is summer without a visit to the swimming pools. Fun for both adults and the kiddies. We also had splash pads not to far away from us which is free. But if not just turn on the hose and play outside. Cost $5-$ p/person

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9. Tubing: One saturday afternoon we drove up to lava hot springs in Idaho and the entire family went down a river in tubes. It was super packed but fun. I could only handle so much of the river. Not a good activity for our little munchkin, someone always had to stay behind with her. Cost: Free if you have your own tubes.

There are lots and lots of fun activities to do in the summer time other ideas could include

  • outdoor concerts
  • Drive In Movies
  • Garden displays
  • Demolition Derby
  • Watching a Rodeo
  • Campout
  • Play Summer Sports/Games

What are some fun summer activities you and your family do? I am so excited to start building different summer traditions for our family. This is a good reminder that we can have fun and not have to break the bank by doing so!! So by posting this up it is a good reminder that I need to be grateful and content with all that I have been blessed with, beautiful family and all basic necessities of life. What more do you need?


5-7month Baby Schedule

I have to admit I love baby schedules. I know babies are not any kind of machine so we shouldn’t expect them to do this all day everyday like clock work. But having a schedule has worked well for me and helped my husband and I keep our sanity!!! After babies surgery we decided it was time to sleep train her. I know many of you have your own personal views of sleep training but lets not judge as we don’t understand everybody’s circumstances and family situations. I will save the whole sleep training video for another post. But here is the outline of baby’s schedule right now at her nearly 8month mark. Keeping in mind she does not have any teeth yet and have not been showing signs of teething yet so this may vary if you have a teething baby.


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6.30-7.30 – She wakes up

7.30am – Nursing

8.00am – Plays

8.30am – Breakfast

9.00am – Plays

10.00 – Morning Naptime

11.30-12pm – Wakes up

12.30 – Lunch Time

1.00 – Play time with mummy

1.30 – Nursing or Bottle

2.00 – Ready for Afternoon Nap

3.30- 4pm – Wakes Up

4pm – Plays

5pm – Dinner Time

6pm – Go for a walk

7pm – Bathtime/Playtime

8pm – Nursing, Storytime, Quiet Time

8.30pm – Bedtime

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She pretty much sticks to this schedule very well. Unless we take her out and mess up her sleeping patterns. She is also eating at every meal and is able to feed herself.  Because my husband has a fair bit of homework at night time putting her to bed at 8.30 allows him sufficient time to study. We will be eventually bringing her schedule a little earlier in time so she can go to bed at around 7.30pm.

How do you guys schedule your children? Do you even prefer a schedule? Let me know in the comments below and give me some tips for the upcoming months or when she starts teething.

Thanks for reading :)

 


Planning our New Zealand Trip Part 1

This December our little family are super excited to be going back home to visit my family. It’s been only 2 years since I have been back so I am assuming not much has changed. Both my brother and sister are getting married a week apart so that’s the real reason of us going down there, but while we are there we may as well make the most of it and actually do some sight seeing. Growing up in Auckland was awesome, but I didn’t get to do much as I was always caught up in the hustle and bustle of life… Work, School, Family, Church. On occasion it would take me out of Auckland but to be honest I have never actually been a true tourist of my own country. So my time has finally arrived. IMG_1447b

Flights: Leaving from LA- Auckland the price range is generally fromUS$1200 – $1700 Off Season and US$1700-$2500 Crazy Season. Airlines I prefer to fly with would either be Qantas or Air New Zealand. They seem to be the most reliable for me in my latest travels and stop off in Australia. The layovers in australia are pretty quick because there are so many flights going back and forth between Australia and New Zealand. But if you want to stop by one of the tropical islands before New Zealand you could go through Fiji Airways or Tahiti. Tahiti has a nice outdoor open airport and showers if you feel like getting refreshed after a long flight. If you have a long enough layover maybe you could hit their beaches! We are hoping to catch some flights through australia so we can visit with the cuzzies… depending on what the cheapest is really.

Accommodation: New Zealand people are pretty hospitable. If you stay at someones place through AirBnB they will look after you well. We will be staying with family for majority of the time. But as we are planning to head over to the south island we may try look for a spot in Queenstown, most likely a place through AirBnB as they are generally well equipped with most things, and I feel it’s around the same price as a motel just a little bit more cozier. We are also planning to go up to the bay of islands and will most likely be staying with family there. Are accommodations costs are going to be hopefully minimal we are looking at spending about $500 at the most on accommodation.421140_343114015731154_9745456_n

Car rentals: Rentals stink but feel they are necessary unless you want to take public transport everywhere. We didn’t get a car rental when we were in hawaii I mean it was okay but it wasn’t the most convenient obviously. We had to figure out the public transport routes and lots of them took the long way to get to places. It was fun for the first while then it got old. While in the north island we will be borrowing my brothers or sisters car which ever of them want to be generous to us and we will only be renting while in the south island for about $80 a day for the smallest of the cars. 
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Spending Money: Food, Entertainment, Tourist Attraction and little random things are what we will be spending any extra money on. I’m not planning on blowing out much on souvenirs or anything but more on experiences. Some things that I know I may be spending a little bit of money on will be a bungy jump somewhere, whether off the harbour bridge or in Queenstown. Thais something on my bucket list that needs to be ticked off. Possibly do some water rafting or kayaking maybe if im lucky a zipline over waiheke. I know super wishful thinking but hopefully if I’m lucky I may find some sponsors along the way hahha I’m giving ourselves a budget of $1000 to play around with. P.s photo above is when we were in New Zealand last time… and those are real sheep not just a picture haha

Passports and Visas: Baby will be getting her first passport so that’s exciting. Obviously she will be getting a US passport but while we are New Zealand we are hoping to apply her for dual citizenship. Who knows she may prefer  NZ and want to live there…We will also be getting my name changed officially and getting me a new passport with the name change!! Yay more money spending on just stuff I think this will all be roughly around $500 yuck!!!

If you have any tips of things that are must see places.. comment and share below!!!! If you think my budgets are realistic or not let me know… :)

 

Thanks!!! Be Amazing!!!


Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Journey

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a baby nutritionist, this is just what has worked for us and our baby. Seek professional advice first. 11755806_10153099891193590_419126103708343334_n

With our little baby experiment we were introduced to the idea of BLW by a friend who was introduced to it by her pediatrician. I am so grateful we did it we love it and I don’t ever want to go back. We used a combination of baby led weaning and traditional method.

What is Baby Led Weaning? BLW is an alternative method for introducing complementary foods to infants in which the infant feeds themselves hand-held foods instead of being spoon-fed by an adult” (source)

We started when Aroha was 5 and a half months. Aroha was already grabbing things and putting them into her mouth and she could pretty much sit on her own in her chair. Generally they say to wait till kids are about 6 months. But start when you feel is right for your child. We first started by just getting her to lick and suck on fruits we were eating such as watermelon. We didn’t let her eat them fully yet. 10996275_10153099739143590_8160795191866976996_n

First foods we introduced to her: Bananas, Avocados, Mangos, Strawberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Steamed Cucumbers and Bell Peppers. Next time round I would avoid the melons seeing even with her gums she could bite off chunks that would be hard for her to chew and make her gag which scared me a lot! I should have also incorporated more veggies in the first week.

Now Aroha is nearly 6 and a half months and she eats everything that we eat. She has had chicken and salmon. We also give her chickpeas and eggs. She loves all types of fruit. I love that she can pick up her own foods on her own even small cheerios. If we just put it on her plate she will eat it. I guess we have been pretty lucky as we haven’t come across any allergies. Because we used a mix of the traditional and BLW method we also feed her oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast which is way too messy for her to grab on her own.

2015-06-26 14.22.50WHY I LOVE BLW?

  • She eats at her own pace
  • She gets a full on sensory experience so she explores with a variety of different textures
  • She learns hand eye coordination
  • She eats with me and what I eat
  • I don’t have to buy baby food
  • I don’t have to pureed foods regularly
  • Helps me eat healthier as well

Cons

  • MESSY!!!!
  • Choking and Gagging if you don’t make sure their foods are soft enough.
  • Some foods were too slippery and difficult to handle

I like using the mixed method because sometimes if we are out and about feeding her myself is a lot more practical. But starting with BLW helped her master the chewing motion first which meant going back and forth with normal foods and softer foods was not a problem. For me its the best of both worlds!!!

What works for me may not work for you so do experiment and see what is suited best for your family needs. All the best xx

 


Our Secret to Perfecting Love

There are too many books too many advice on Love and Relationships. How to obtain it, how to strengthen it, how to find for it, or even how we lose it. But we only have one simple strategy.

My husband and I met while we were serving full time missions for our church. But our love story didn’t officially begin until we returned home and started dating other people. I lived in New Zealand working as a teacher and also attended graduate school,  while he was working and attended school in Utah. It all started with a simple message on facebook eventually led to skyping each night. Without ever having a physical relationship we decided we were going to date exclusively. You can imagine how difficult this was to tell your family and friends you are dating someone halfway across the world that you have never kissed, held hands or even hugged.

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Because of the distance we had to rely wholeheartedly on God to give us our answers on whether we were to be together or not. Both being broke students we couldn’t just jump on a plane to go halfway across the world. So we prayed and fasted fervently to receive answers whether this is what God wanted for us. Eventually on several occasions we both received our spiritual confirmations. I then flew to Utah for just over a week to meet his family and to make sure he and his family was “normal” haha. Conner then flew to N.Z to meet my family and be with us for a few months. It was not all pink hearts and daisies it was rough for the both of us as we had to learn to adjust to each others families, lifestyle and culture. (Especially seeing I was the first Polynesian girl Conner had actually had a conversation with.) But during this period of transition we always had to rely on the spiritual confirmations we received from God on being together. Even once we were married for the first couple of months it was extremely rough, especially for me being away from my family and adjusting to married life. But I am so grateful that my husband and I had both set a deep spiritual foundations in which we could always fall back on. (Especially grateful for my husbands commitment, patience and humility with me during this time.)

1378180_591373764254812_842734700_nHow does a relationship with God help and strengthen our marriage you may wonder?

Because we CHOOSE to be DEPENDENT on a never-failing, all forgiving, completely loving, all-knowing, all-powerful creator. We know that He will never fail us. We ourselves are on a journey to be more like Jesus Christ therefore because Jesus was patient we try to more patient with the faults and weaknesses of others. We also hope for patience from others with our shortcomings. We love even when sometimes we feel we don’t get love in return just like Jesus was to those who persecuted Him. We look to be selfless and serve each other as our Savior was selfless and gave His life for us. We endeavor to be humble and let go of pride when we get in silly arguments. There are so many attributes we can develop to be become better wives, mothers, husbands and fathers as we look towards God and Jesus as our examples. Our marriage will become that of strengthening and building each other instead of belittling and competing with one another.  The love triangle allows us to look towards God as our example for how we should treat and love our families. We have a perfect example that we can follow to create happier and eternal marriages and families.

Below is the spiritual love triangle, it is pretty self explanatory. The closer each of us move towards God in our own personal relationships with God, the closer we would come together in our marriage.

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For me this triangular model works time and time again. This model only fails when one of us are putting ourselves before God or not strengthening our relationship with God. This is why I wholeheartedly believe that marriage is a 3 way relationship with God. Marriage is from God and he has given us a way to create a happy family life. We can not and should not take him out of the equation. I pray that we will remember this as we build and strengthen our personal family relationships.

Marriage is a Gift from God to us the quality of our marriage is our Gift to God

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Remember you are of Infinite worth and are amazing beyond measure!!


5 ways to Preserve Language in the home

5ways to Preserve Language

Repost from previous Blog: Speak your Language!!
5 Ways to Preserve Our LanguageIn this day of age its not that cool to speak the language of your parents. Growing up in a traditional Tongan home I was mainly raised by my grandmother so that somewhat forced me to speak Tongan. But with my parents, who were exposed to more English through work, I got away with speaking to them in English. This then raises a few issues…Teachers in Primary Schools and Secondary schools are then  faced with  having to reteach English and undo some habits that have already been formed by the children.
The issue is that children are speaking BROKEN English and BROKEN Tongan (in my case). They don’t have either or.
Although our parents do have lovely intentions of trying to speak to us in English to get us to practice, or maybe they too are trying to practice for their sake. Personally for me more than anything we need to be sticking to the language we know best and cultivate it so that it becomes rich for our children. English will defiantly come in time and we don’t need to worry our kids will eventually learn English the proper way.Research shows that those who speak two or more languages have extra brain stimulation through out their entire life. Allowing them to be able to adjust to different circumstances and adapt to unexpected or unfamiliar events. A study that was done by Dr Brain. T. Gold from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine between those who spoke 2 or more languages and those who just spoke one language proved that both groups were able to complete the task, but those who spoke 2 or more languages completed it faster and used less brain power to do so. So why wouldn’t you want your children to learn and keep your language!! Here are some tips that I have seen have helped me and my family…

  1. Help them develop pride in who they are and where they came from. That their culture is what makes us who we are and unique
  2. Ensure that one parent always speaks the language to the child, if both parents go back and forth with the language it may get confusing for the child.
  3. Read in your native language. Growing up we always read the scriptures in Tongan even though we may not have known what we were saying but we were practicing pronunciation.
  4. Sing Songs. Its funny some songs that I didn’t even know the meaning of when I was little when I sing them now all the words come together and I finally understand what the song is saying.
  5. Set structure: If you have rules to only speak a certain language one week stick to it and try and be consistent with it otherwise its always easy to fall back to english

Most importantly have fun incoporaptating your traditional language with English. What are some of your tips for raising your children with two languages? Share or comment below!


Seven Eleven 2015

Yes I am a seven eleven baby!! 1 year older and wiser too Happy  Birthday to me!!!! Because I ended up going to sleep grumpy at my husband the night before, I decided when I woke up I was to CHOOSE to be happy. That I would be the one to determine how my Birthday Day was to turn out. If anything got me upset it was because I allowed it to. So because I set myself up thinking this I was off to a good start. Birthday celebrations began with the hubby making breakfast, Baby and I went and cleaned up the chapel and then visited a friend in a assisted living home. Cleaned up my house while my husband was doing a test at school. In my eyes it couldn’t have started any better!!!!
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Last year for my birthday we watched a good old musical classic Fiddler on the Roof so this year I wanted to do something more outdoorsy. Lately I have been emphasizing to my husband the importance of spending quality time together,and building memories rather than collecting things.  So we decided to go up to snowbasin and ride the gondolas up the mountain. This is a ski resort that the olympics were held out and in the winter has amazing views and crazy amounts of snow. In the summertime people just go up there and bike down the mountain. This was my first time experience on a gondola lift so obviously I was pretty excited!  Once we got up to the top we hiked up the rest of the way. Obviously I wasn’t dressed for the hike but weather was perfect, not too hot not too cold. At the top we had the most amazing view through the valley and all around. 
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The view at the top was breathtaking. Of course these pictures don’t even capture a glimpse of these views. And the pretty wild flowers made the hike all the better. Nature always tends to bring out the best in us. Anyone having a bad day just needs to get out for a little bit and experience some of nature’s healing powers. I can’t guarantee that all your troubles and woes will just suddenly disappear but will be for sure put into perspective. 11733827_10153069068738590_2030464073_o11733289_10153069065973590_1744367362_n To end the night we had Mongolian Grill for dinner, not exactly what I was expecting. I guess in my mind I was imaging it would be Korean BBQ but it wasn’t too bad. Then we had a smoothie for dessert at sub zero and no birthday cake seeing I was doing that Junkfree July month. At the end of the night topped it off with a relaxing movie just before bed. Before I knew it another year birthday just flew right before my eyes!

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!! Tick of my Bucket List: Gondola Ride and Mongolian BBQ


Eating Habits Her vs His

Growing up in New Zealand and seeing both worlds I can see there are benefits to both sides. The poly’s know how to throw a good party and the palangi’s know how to have portion control. Here’s a list of our different eating habits maybe we can learn from one another and figure out why we eat the way we do.

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She cooks for double or triple the amount in their household because you never know when aunts uncles third cousins are going to arrive. He cooks for exact people so you can’t just show up at the doorstep and expect to be fed. That’s why it’s called RSVP!
She makes sure you clean and lick your plate and ask for thirds you end up having no room for dessert but will make you eat dessert anyways. He eats until you are satisfied and save room for dessert so they don’t feel sick after!
She eat until they can’t move and the only next activity is sleep. He use food as just energy booster for other activities throughout the day.
At a buffet She stack their plates full just in  so they have more time to enjoy their food and don’t have to make several trips. He just put enough on the plate knowing they can always come back for more.
She drink after they eat so they have more space for food. He drinks before so they have less space for food.
She can eat meat for breakfast lunch dinner! He eats variety of meats, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo meals.
She are satisfied once there is no dessert left. He eats a slice of cake and call it good! It’s nice to save something for the next day.
She don’t have any allergies surprisingly enough. While He have allergies to everything under the sun nuts dairy gluten honey eggs soy wheat shellfish.

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I know these are complete stereotypes, but I just wanted to make the clear distinctions to how and why many of us eat the way we do and think the way we do. Our people and culture is very giving and loving, and we use food to show that love. But we also need to be cautious in what we are teaching our children and the habits they will be forming. Our health is one of the most important gifts we can give to our families. Coming from a family with a history of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure I could say it’s inevitable, that I will get it. We can break the chain it’s the lifestyle we choose to live. It can be changed if you so choose and see it fit for you!

What are some other eating habits that are different comment and share below!

 



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