Friday, May 31, 2013

A Month of Instagram-May '13

Me and my Boo Bear before he gets ready to go
to the Navy
Sofia's take on helping with the dishes.

Ever see a brighter bunch of smiles.

Sofia ready to help with her makeshift apron.

Visiting past co-workers at JPS hospital.
(She's been going since she was born and everybody
knows her.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Writer Wednesday- A Unique Way to Pick Up a Girl

Alaula-A Unique Way to Pick Up a Girl

Ana and Mason's attitudes were frustrating but easy to get over. I sighed, put my iPod headphones in my ears and started the walk from my car to my job. Ne-Yo flowed into my sense of hearing and I walked a pace that matched the beat of the music. People stopped what they were doing to watch me walk by. I didn't pay no mind; some people weren't used to seeing a Hispanic woman on Hawaii wearing dark blue coveralls, white tennis shoes and black work gloves. But you got to do what you got to do and sometimes you got to wear what you got to wear.

I rounded the corner smoothly and after seeing the sign for my job, crossed the street and headed into the garage. "Aloha, Lani." I heard my manager Chris call out. "Hey, Chris! Still haven't gotten that Mazda runnin'?"

"Nah, I knew it was special to you."

"Aw...thanks for caring, babe."

"Anything for you, beautiful."

I smiled happily and after clocking in, said my hellos to my co-workers, Dante, Evan and Joe. They waved and I got to work on my project-the 1997 Mazda RX-7 that somebody had brought up to me to fix up. It was beaten down and barely able to start; the result of a race gone bad. In other was perfect for me. A treasure even.

Immediately, I got to work, opening the hood so that I could begin fixing up the transmission. Working at The Otto Shop was pretty slow paced and fun. Even though I was the only girl surrounded by guys, they treated me like their own sister and there were times where they asked if I was really Hawaiian and not Mexican. Yeah, I was used it now; being born from a family of brothers. I was practically a tomboy with a sexy lady's curves. The guys never really noticed though and they were like my third family.

Toward 4:30, I began to feel the heat gathering in the garage, so after fixing some more in the transmission, I pulled my head out from under the hood and started to unbutton the first few buttons of my coveralls. Once that was done, I pulled the blue fabric down to my waist. Wearing my orange striped bikini underneath gave me the chance to feel the cooling Oahu wind on my sweaty skin. I loved the feeling and turned to feel more of the wind, closing my eyes and putting my long lengths of hair over my shoulder. When I opened my eyes again, I frowned seeing a guy standing with his back to me right outside the garage. Every now and again, he would look back over his own shoulder to look at me. I pursed my lips in annoyance; nothing I hated more than a shady character. I decided to nip this in the ass right away.

"Excuse me..." I called out to the chocolate brother.

He didn't say anything at first and I growled inwardly.


"Huh?" Oh, now he wanted to hear me?

I put my hands on my hips saying with authority, "I know you can see me and unless you got some kind of medical problem, I know you can hear me too!"

The man-no, bump that- the sexy man turned around and looked at me. "I...uh..." he started, scratching his head. I waited. "I have a car." I frowned, not immediately understanding. "So?" He kept going. "It's a Cadillac." I felt my anger ebbing a bit as I nodded. A Caddy. This was getting interesting. He then surprised me by rubbing his chest slowly. "It's all busted up. Cables falling out...all over."

The way he said it made it seem like he was advertising for a 70s porno. My eyebrows raised as I asked, "Are you seriously tryin to turn me on by telling me about your busted up car?"

The man gave me a gorgeous beaming smile as he asked sheepishly, "Did it work?" I gave a laugh. "Nah, not really. But you were cute tho."

"Well, you're beautiful."

I smiled big. "Now you're winning points." We both laughed. For a moment after in silence, the man came up to me with his hand extended. "I'm Kai by the way." I took his thin dark hand and shook it. "Lana, but people here just call me Lani." I took the time to look at his face and had a realization. "Kai, huh?" I started. "You that DJ, aren't you?"

Kai looked surprised that I even knew him. "Yeah, I work over at Hyperpill some nights." I reached down for a wench. "I usually go there with my friends. I've seen you doin yo' thang. You bad..."

Kai chuckled then put his hands up to his face, blowing on his nails in confidence. I laughed again, exclaiming, "Yeah, you kno you are, boy!" Kai put his hands behind his back. "I do what I got to do. I see you doing your thing with this car here. I wouldn't have thought you were a mechanic." I smirked, turning around and wiping my forehead as Kai continued, "Where did you learn to do all of that?" I noticed Kai's eyes drifting down my chest and ignored the sudden giddy sensation in my stomach.

"My dad taught me back in Cali. He has his own auto shop so he taught me everything about cars and motors when I was growing up."

Kai grinned. "That's what's up." He came closer and as I turned to work under the hood once more, he joined me, watching as I looked at the alternator. "So...what are your plans for tonight?"

My eyes met his and I answered, " I don't know. Depends on how work goes. My friends and I were going to come down to the club." Kai kept his huge grin but I held up my wench saying, "Only if I can fix some more of this car."

Kai held up his hands while he backed away from the car exclaiming, "Then it ain't nothing but a thang, Ma." I laughed as he then said, "I'll see you at the club." I gave a quick nod and he strolled off. I was feeling pretty inspired by Kai's words so I turned and looked at the engine before saying, "All right, baby...let's do this."

Family Member Profile- Ehren

Name: Ehren Dmitri
Crew of Funkadelics Name: Yin Yang
Birthdate: February 2, 1993
Relation: Cousin (however not blood related)

Occupation: Airman

Likes: video games, computer design, burgers, pizza, pasta, the color red, the color black, old model muscle cars, wolves/werewolves

Dislikes: drama, heights, cats, broccoli

Something Ehren Accomplished: Accepted into the Navy military branch

This guy right, so much could be said...that's how much he means to me. For the majority of my teenage life, Ehren or Boo Bear as I call him has been my best friend; the person to fill the hole that my brother was supposed to be in.

I have been a part of his life since he was three or maybe even younger than that. I really didn't pay too much attention to him then-me being a kid myself, but when he turned five, I started getting closer to him and saw him a part of my family.

Boo is intelligent (very much so) but he's so cocky it can make any body's head spin. He has a "don't give a damn" attitude that he puts off in the beginning. I know to some people it can take some getting used to, but I know better. I know where that front comes from; it comes from years and years of trying to prove himself to people. To show that he's somebody. He knows that from me he is and will always be somebody and I know the same from him. He's a big teddy bear on the inside, but you have to know him a while before you see that side of him. Just take him in and go with the flow.

Ehren was a part of my family's talent show for a long while and was a huge part of our dance group the Crew of Funkadelics as Yin Yang. He has a great dance talent and when he was in the shows, loved to show it off. Things have changed a bit and it saddens me greatly that he doesn't really dance much anymore. But I'll always remember when he did.

He lived in Texas mostly all his life until he turned about 15 then he decided to live with his mother in Tennessee. I barely saw him after that and couldn't wait to see him again. I finally did when he had already graduated and was starting to go into the military. He is a sailor in the navy and I'm so very proud of him. Everybody should have a chance to make a start on their lives and he did so.

He's a great brother to his sisters, Amber and Jessica even though years ago, you wouldn't have known it. They were always bugging each other. He has a good relationship with his father Louis and my dad as well. I'm not sure about how his life is in Virginia now, but I'm sure he's a great friend with whoever he hangs with too.

I know that things will only get better for this guy...the sky's the limit for him and I'll be looking out for him every chance that I can.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Boo Bear's Visit

Ehren came down to Texas to visit and as his family situation wasn't the best at the time, he stayed over at my house for the week. I was stoked! Ehren and I have always been close growing up; I've been in his life since he was about 2-3 and as he grew up, I saw him as the brother I was supposed to have and likewise for him because his sis was living in TN at the time. After he moved to TN with his mom and sister, I was so sad, but I was happy for him too because he was starting to live a life he wanted for once.

He loved Sofia and she was like his shadow, following him everywhere. We took him to Kim's house where we did some candid shots with Kearrah and M'Kya. I was trying so hard not to laugh at their expressions and you can see it in my face.


Me and my Boo Bear

Those crazy eyes...


Blowing up cheeks

Kiss kiss!

Ghetto faces

Mean mugging

Mor mean mugging

Puppy faces- (what's with the paws back there?)
Mother's day came around while he was still here and we all went to IHOP to celebrate. While there I was able to get some good pictures of Ehren, Sofia and Mom. They are all such hams!

I was a bit sad that Boo Bear had to leave, but I knew that he knew that if he ever needed to stay at my house again that he was always welcome to do so.

Check out Ehren's Family Member Profile!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Writer Wednesday- Part of Alaula's Chapter 1

Alaula Chapter 1

Later, I walked inside the house, removing my shoes and holding them in my hand. Mason was laying on the couch listening to his iPod. "Hey, Hime." He greeted with a grin. Instead of returning his smile, I just glanced down at him and gave him a look of disgust before heading toward my bedroom.

Hearing shuffling behind me, I knew Mason was wondering why I was upset with him and was following me. "What? Did I forget to take out the recycling?" Rolling my eyes, I sighed and turned off a lamp that somebody had neglected to do earlier. "I don't know, did you?" I drawled out not really in the mood for Mason's dumb ass questions. After more about the house such as "Was it my day to cook?" I turned around and snapped. "No, Mason! It's the fact that you don't give Baylee the time of day! That's why I 'm pissed!"

Mason blinked in surprise then frowned this time and I stood my ground ready for whatever he was about to say; Mason was known for his nasty attitude and his sharp tongue. "What the fuck? Where the hell did that come from?" He leaned on his side against my doorway as I began to change clothes. "I glared back. "Bay told me that she asked if you wanted to join her in surfing this morning and declined her!"

Mason crossed his arms slowly and I could feel a powerful male aura radiating off of him. His voice was deep and to the point. "That's my damn choice if I remember correctly. I had stuff to do."

Slipping on a tank top and some surf shorts, I came out of my closet piercing Mase with my challenging gaze. "Like what? Working at Silver Smoke on your off day? Pfft. You were probably hanging on some girl who didn't want your ass." My words were harsh but I didn't care.

"Ana, please. Look at this." I turned from putting my clothes in the hamper. "Who?" Mason pointed at his famous six pack, rubbing it slowly. "Who wouldn't want this?"

I scowled at his arrogance. "I sure as hell don't for one and with an attitude like that, I'm surprised Baylee is even trying to spend time with you!" Mason paused the rubbing of his stomach as he absorbed my words. "Ouch, Ana! Why are you being such a bitch today?"

Taking no offense to the vulgar word he called me, I answered, "If I have to be one to defend one I care about then I will." Mason put his hands on the atrium of my doorway, hanging forward with a slight pout. "You know...I came first before Baylee."

I stared for a long while at my best friend; my mouth agape. "I really can't believe you just said that. What are you? Ten?" Mason chuckled. "Shit, I wish. Times were much more fun then and you better believe I said that because I'm not taking it back."

Sometimes, he was just unbelievable. I shook my head slowly muttering "You're a dumbass. You know that, right?"

Mason then smirked; the sexy smirk that usually made my blood run swift. "I'll be whatever you want me to be, Hime. If it will turn you on."

I rolled my eyes. "Ugh...gag me hard with that one, Mase. Dumbasses aren't really on my list of turn ons. Baylee may be the one coming after you, but at least she's showing some kind of interest."

Mason was silent for a while before he came slowly into my room. I watched his every step with an alert gaze until he was face to face with me and I looked up into his deep blue eyes.

"There was once a time where you showed interest in me as well."

I sighed and put a hand on my shoulder. "Yeah, there was, wasn't it? I wonder where that time went."

His hand came under my chin. "Now you only come on to me when you got a itch and a certain itch at that."

My cheeks flamed hot red in slight lust and embarrassment as Mason's hands then find their way to my bare hips. "You never minded scratching that itch, so why not?" I said, simply.

Mason stared deep into my eyes, pulling me against him and I knew what was coming next. "Does it need to be scratched now, my hime?" I thought about that question- Mason sure could scratch...but...

Gasping suddenly, I hit him lightly on his arm. "Hey! Don't you change the subject, Mason Zeller! I'm still upset with you!"

Mason pouted again and then grinned, gyrating his hips against mine. I tried to keep my emotions down hearing him say, "Aw...I'm sorry, baby girl. Come on, forgive me." He leaned down to kiss my neck, but I pushed his head back with my hand, exclaiming "Don't apologize to me! Apologize to Baylee. Do that and we'll see who's itch you'll be scratching."

Friday, May 3, 2013

La Reina's Guide to Breastfeeding

Warning: As mentioned in the title, there is boob in this post. If you are sensitive to the sight of me naturally feeding my child then I suggest you go to the next post available.

As many of you have read in previous posts, I breastfeed my child. Even after she has turned a year old, I am still continuing as long as I can or in other words as long as I can stand the tiny teeth in my kidlet's mouth. There are so many times I hear or read about mothers who have only made it through breastfeeding for a about a month or two before switching to formula. Maybe it was because milk supply dried out or too much pain or even the fact that it wouldn't work with somebody's current work schedule. Whatever the reason...there is no reason to bash a mother for that decision. As long as a child is fed that's what matters.

Now for those new mothers or soon-to-be mothers that are certain that they want to breastfeed their babies, I will tell you straight out: breastfeeding in the beginning can be hard! Key word is CAN. It all depends on how your child latches and your milk supply. I knew when I was pregnant with my little miss that I was going to do breastfeeding. It seemed like the natural thing and also the fact that would help out money-wise as formula isn't the cheapest thing around.

When Sofia was born and cleaned up a bit, I was instantly able to feed her. It took a little bit of time to get used to her latch, but we worked it out. My milk wasn't in just yet; just the nutrient rich colostrum to get her going in life. But still I was stoked that I was feeding my child; it was quite peaceful as well. However, the feeling was short lived...since Sofia had a bit of jaundice, she had to be supplemented with formula. I believe that really caused her some confusion and it threw off her latch BIG time. She would latch on my nipple instead of my areola and it was so painful.

Add that to how often she had to feed and you can imagine how miserable I felt. I felt like a milk machine for serious.  Also I had this thing where my left breast had oversupply which meant it was making more milk than Sofia could handle at the time. I had watch out for her or she would literally choke on milk from the fast flow.

Now don't get me wrong, ladies...this woman right here was seriously thinking about throwing in the towel. I literally would cry from pain sometimes from this little one's latch, but you know what? The thought of knowing that I was naturally feeding my child was above my need for comfort. My child came first always. So with support from my husband and my mother and aunt...I was able to keep my spirit up and was able to continue the journey

and you know what? It got easier!

Mi princesita began to understand how to better latch on as she got older and in no time we were feeding like it was nothing at all. Relaxing and staring at her as she would eat was one of the best times in my life.

Even feeding in front of people or in public was okay too. It made me nervous at first but I learned how to discreetly latch her on and nobody even batted an eye. Don't ever feel like you can't feed your child because people don't want you to in a public place. You have a natural right to feed your child wherever you need to. If you don't have anybody's support on that, you have mine. For serious!

Now that Sofia is one, I might feed her a bit more before starting to wean but even the thought of that is making my breasts ache. I'll read up on what to do with that. Btw...that's another good bit of advice. If you can't figure out what to do, there is nothing wrong with getting a breastfeeding book or going to a breastfeeding forum and studying up! Become a breastfeeding nerd! Your child will thank you!

DO's and DON'Ts of Breastfeeding

DO make sure that your milk supply is up in anyway you can. Drink water, eat certain foods etc. Oatmeal is good as well as a herb called Fenugreek that comes in capsules at your local drug store.

DON'T go past the time that you normally breastfeed unless you can't help it. Your girls will get so swollen and hot you will be begging your child to relieve your pain.

DO make sure you are in the best possible position for feeding time. My favorite position? Laying down and letting Sofia lay next to me while feeding. The cradle hold is close second.

DON'T use underwire bras. They are not my best friends and usually have me wincing from a clogged duct in little to no time at all. Go for maternity bras or tops. Forgo beauty for comfort in a moment like these.

DO pump even when you think your child won't need the feeding. There were times where Sofia would be gone for the day and I would be so happy that I had the time to myself that I wouldn't realize that my milk was still filling up. I would be in pain and have to pump just to relieve the pressure. If a pump isn't available, try to express by hand.

DON'T forget to wear nursing pads! Your girls can betray you at the wrong moment, leaving you soaked and letting everybody know that you are full of milk. An embarrassing moment, believe me!

DO use the best friend to nursing mamas: Lanolin. many times that cream has made wonders for some achy nipples. Don't's safe for your little one so slather it on there! You can also use a bit of your milk for cracked nipples as well. Just a few drops around the areola and nipple will do the trick.

DON'T keep your breasts moist. Try to air them out as much as possible. Bacteria can gather on your nipples and possibly give you Mastitis. I've never had it, but I read that it wasn't fun at all.

DO be aware of cluster feedings in the first few months. Your child will want to feed all day long so make sure you have some snacks and water and also a comfy place that you won't mind staying in a long time.

DON'T pull your baby off of your nipple after feedings. That can wreck havoc on your nipples. Use your finger to break the suction in the corner of your baby's mouth. Much better feeling for sure!

and finally DO try your best to go as long as you can with breastfeeding, but realize that if you can't that you are just as awesome as any other mother out there!

I hope you enjoyed my guide and in closing I will show this picture of a happy and full Sofia. Full babies make happy babies in any way you feed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Writer Wednesday- Alaula Prologue

Alaula Prologue

Water dripping from the sink prompted me to open my eyes. The sink was a lot farther away than my room but the whole house was a shack; brail thin walls let any sound come through. It was a shack like I said, and It was a sight for sore eyes but it was my home. I got up leisurely, stroking the head of my shadow colored puppy who was sprawled out on my bed. Diesel opened his eyes briefly but then slipped back into the seemingly unconscious state that he began with. I walked toward the front porch, draping a light pink blanket over my shoulders. It was a habit going to the porch and watching the sunrise. Hawaiian sunrises are the best.

As I came closer to the porch, I walked past Mason's room. I stopped and looked into his bedroom. It looked like his room spit up all of his clothes because they were everywhere. On his bed, on his floor, even a piece of his shirt was in his already dirty aquarium. Beer cans and bottles were all over. Shit, I could barely even see Mason. The only evidence that he was there was his long dusty blond ponytail and his lightly tanned foot sticking out of his dingy white blanket. I smiled and said, "Mase." He popped his head up and looked at me groggily.




He fell back onto his bed and I went into the living room. I looked around the corner and smiled. Lana was erasing something on a notebook and sighing, putting a few strands of her smooth black hair behind her ear. Her eyes were heavy and she yawned. I smirked with knowing. “Hey, were you up all night?” Lana looked up at me and nodded with another yawn. “Yeah…well, I slept a little bit but I still had to finish my thesis paper so I had to get up again.” I shook my head at her. “It’s the weekend, Lana. You’ll be able to sleep all Saturday and Sunday.” She scoffed and replied, “If I don’t have to go to work…” I nodded.

Hey, it happens.

Work sometimes gives us no mercy.

“Come on, sleepyhead. Sunrise.” Lana stood up and stretched. “Oh, shit.” She said, groggily. She followed me out to the porch as I said, “We’re not too late. Good.” “I’m so needing coffee after this.” I smiled. “I bet.” She leaned on the railing and stared off at the scenery. The sun wasn’t up yet, but you could see just the telltale sign of it; a twinge of pink tainting the sky. One thing I loved about our old shack…

It was located on a cliff like rock ledge looking straight off into the ocean.

Lana and I walked to where my car and her truck were and after pulling down Lana’s tailgate, sat and waited. We then heard feet shuffling and saw Mason, with eyes half closed walking to the truck with Diesel behind him. He hauled himself up on the truck. “Come on, pup.” I coaxed and Diesel jumped up as well. Then we stared. And stared. And stared some more. Then finally as gentle as a thread of silk, a golden orange dome started to lift up onto the horizon. It was beautiful as always and I held my breath just staring at it in awe. My friends weren’t as appreciative as I was.

“Well, that took about half an hour. Can you tell me why we always do this again?” Mason asked, slightly irritated.

Lana yawned for the fifth time and agreed, “Yeah, Anouhea. Why?”

I shook my head and stroked Diesel’s. They just didn’t get it. “Come on, guys. This is the only real peaceful time we have together. Savor it.” There was another 3 minutes of silence.

Lana finally smiled. I knew I could count on her to understand. Mason stroked his chin. He finally got it too.

“Okay.” Mason grumbled.

“Okay.” Lana softly replied.

I grinned and looked down at Diesel who wagged his little Labrador tail and licked my chin. Okay. I just knew that when that golden orb of sunlight finally appeared, the chaos of business which was known as our lives started right then and there. Just knowing that I had just this time to think about the good things and be able to share it with my friends was enough to get up every morning at 6:30 to see the phenomenon that brought it. During this time…life had no meaning. It was awesome.

Damn, Hawaiian sunrises are the best.

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