My Grams was laid to rest

Winona Joyce Moanikeala Wedemeyer Gaison
Sept 8, 1936- May 18, 2020

If you follow my blog you know that while my daughter was in the hospital, my grandma passed away. There have been so many emotions that I really wasn’t even going to post about it. But this is a sort of diary for me, and a lot of what I post is so that I have these memories to look back on.

My grandma was an amazing, strong woman who lived her life for her family. My cousins and I are so tight that we’ve never spent more than a month without a gathering. We all talk to each other all the time and make sure that we let each other know that we are always here for one another. That’s the family that she raised. Family first… period!

She left a really big family behind. In her life she was able to be a part of the lives for her 5 of her children, 13 grand children, 21 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Interestingly I am the oldest of the grands, my son is the oldest of the greats and my granddaughter is the oldest of the great-greats.

Back row: my dad, my dads gf, Maui (my oldest son), Kūha’o (my youngest son), Kahele,
Front: my oldest daughter tea, Tatum ( granddaughter), Kayla (my DIL), Me, Aria (my youngest in front of me)

My grandma lost her oldest son around 25 years ago and her husband (my grandfather) a little over 12 years ago. She lived a long life full of experiences and able to watch her family grow. But, the first thing that came to mind after the shock that she was gone was, now she’s with my uncle and papa… and it warms my heart to think that.

This is the wreath from the grand children, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. The 3 hearts represent us.

We were so blessed to be able to celebrate her life as a family with a full service during this pandemic. There are some who I’ve heard were not able to give their loved ones a proper service a month or so ago. The family on the mainland were able to fly in to Hawaii and do their 14 day mandatory quarantine in able to join the service. There still was social distancing, which we weren’t too worried about because everyone was really careful and followed the rules during quarantine.

Uncle led kaapana played his Slack-key during the viewing and long after for the family to enjoy.

The turn out was actually more than I thought it would be. This is how my family is… even our second, third and fourth cousins are all close and showed up. It was truly a day full of blessings. The weather was beautiful, the flower arrangements were beautiful, just the overall mood was bittersweet and BEAUTIFUL. The love that surrounded my family that day was present and we all knew it was grams and papa showering the love onto us.

After the burial we all headed to her home, a place where she’s lived all my life and where my family has built a lifetime of memories. We drank, shared stories, drank, laughed, cried, drank, sang and just had the best time together. Yesterday was another story… woke up with a headache, slept, ate, slept… I really paid for that good time I had!

Clockwise starting from front: cousins: Alohi, Kapu, Tiana, Kahiki, my sister Tasha and me far right.
Me with my cousin’s Constance and Alohi
These four are all the same age and the same grade so we refer to them as “the four”
The kids started falling asleep so we waited for our designated drivers and had to eventually end the most perfect day.

I’m going to link her favorite song here. It’s such a perfect song for her and her life so we played it during the service. Enjoy!

Grams favorite song

Beach Day with the fam!

Hawaii is starting to open up! Yesterday we packed up the cars for the beach and spent the entire day there. However, when we were there we got alerts saying that after weeks of zero new covid cases we now have 8. This is soooo depressing. Will it ever end? What’s the plan?

I also got a text saying that we’ll be returning to work on the 15th but with these new cases, who knows what the governor will do now. I’m soooo craving normality and by the looks of it… things will probably never be what we considered normal.

My nieces and daughter (middle) had the best time
FYI uncrustables are the best beach snack

I dread going into places where face masks are required (which is pretty much everywhere here), and to even try to imagine that face masks are going to be a part of everyday is hard to accept. In Hawaii our greeting to anyone we run in to or meet is a kiss and hug. Now in public we find ourselves doing this weird elbow tap. I hate it! That’s not what I want my kids to grow up doing and it’s not something I want lost in our culture.

The older kids really missed this!

So, even though I don’t like going to the beach, I enjoyed myself. It’s something that brought all of us together that felt really normal to us. No face masks, laying on the beach, swimming in the ocean… it was a great day!

My grandson is the cutest

R&F save 15% + free SPF with full+ mini regimen purchase

This is a great deal guys. The full size redefine regimen alone costs $208. So for only $10 more you receive a mini regimen along with SPF! And if you already have your PC perks, it’s only gonna cost you $197. Check out the site for other regimen deals.

Here’s the full size regimen

If you’ve been contemplating a new skin care regimen, I can honestly say that I’m loving a lot of the products so far. I’ve been using the Redefine regimen and I’m loving it. I want to give it a couple of weeks before actually reviewing it (because I’m me and that’s just how I work). I’m also using the lash boost. I’ve only been using it for 4 days now so I’m really not seeing a lot of results yet. But some of the before and after pictures I’ve seen online are crazy. I hope I have amazing results to share with you.

I’ve also tried the derma-roller and renewing serum… probably my favorite of all. The feeling of my skin after applying the serum, I’ve never felt my skin like that.

And that’s about all I’ve tried so far. My kids have been using a couple of other regimens and I’m excited to get them into a good skin care routine. They’ve all had face washes and toners but to have a regimen specifically targeted towards sensitive skin or teenagers is so convenient! Especially my 12 year old daughter, this is an important age where her skin may change dramatically.

Don’t forget to click on any of the images or HERE to connect to my site!!!!

A new business venture…

For so many years I’ve had friends and co-workers try to get me to jump in on businesses like Amway, Mary-Kay, Avon… and I was never interested. The thought of ordering products for someone and then having to deliver it to them never sounded fun to me. It actually sounded like too much work. I vowed to myself that there was no way I would fall into something like no matter how much someone built it up to me, it just didn’t sound fun at all.

I’m super excited to start using this product

My cousin got into Rodan & Fields, I want to say a couple of years ago, and tried to get me to join. I refused for so long, and one day during quarantine she asked me if I wanted to join at that time because she was still making a lot of money even though we all were at home. I said I’d think about it. She sent me the link that evening inviting to a zoom meeting where I could hear some of the stories from those who are selling the products and how they’re making out during quarantine. I could not believe when my cousin shared with everyone that the money she makes from selling this product practically paid for her daughters PUNAHOU tuition. That’s an expensive school… you may have heard of it… Barack Obama?! When I heard that, along with stories of those who actually were able quit their job because they were bringing home more money selling these products and how all the payments and shipments would be taken care of through the company!!!… I was interested.

I guess my cousin felt she had to announce my arrival on board… no pressure at all 😉

So I did it! I bought my business kit and set up my account. I’m going to be real with you all and say that I’ve only tried a few of these products. I also want to say that I will be totally honest in my posts about each product. There have been so many times that I’ve gone on a website and read about a product and bought it only to find it’s crap. I know that every beauty brand will have their good products and not-so-good products. I’m on a mission to find the products that work best for me and my family.

Just to gain your trust a little… I actually worked as a esthetician for about 10 years before having my oldest daughter. Some brands that I’ve worked with, that I hold pretty high up there are… Yon Ka, Aveda and Dermalogica. Working at some popular spas like Abhasa Spa at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Serenity Spa at the Outrigger Reef, both in Waikiki, I’ve had to attend MANY skin care classes. So yes, skin care has always been really important to me. Because the R&F products are pretty pricey, I want to make sure that I can promote the products that I feel are really worth dishing out your hard earned money for. So please if you are interested in checking out my site for now please click here.

I feel… numb

Hey guys… We’re still here in the hospital. If you read my last post you know that we checked into the hospital on Monday because Aria had an infection in her neck. I also shared that my grandmother died that same day. I don’t think that I’ve fully grasped what has happened. I mean I know she’s gone but why am I not grieving right now? I’ll think about it and tear up but I think I’m just too numb.

Shes been eating pretty good here. She enjoys her breakfasts the most.

Everyone from home is being so supportive and checking up on us. My best friend went through a similar situation where she wasn’t able to focus her attention on her grandfather’s passing because there were other things that her mind had to focus on. She told me not to feel bad because my mind and body are so focused on my daughter and that’s where it has to be. The tears will come later when we go home.

They have a wonderful playroom right next to our room. So she’s been spending a lot of time there. Definitely helps to pass the time.

I just fear that I’m going to absolutely lose it. This whole thing is weighing heavy on my anxiety and depression. I feel like a zombie. I’m so grateful for the staff here… they’re amazing! The truly go above and beyond to make you feel supported and comfortable.

It’s just so miserable that during this COVID-19, no one can come and visit and keep us company. There are no visitation during this time. One person allowed with the patient and that’s it. I feel terrible that I can’t be more help to my family trying to plan my grandmas funeral during this pandemic. Everyone is pretty much on the island accept for my dads sister. So she’ll be flying down because she will have to 14 day quarantine here before we can have a burial.

This Barbie dollhouse has been her favorite. So, her dad went to Walmart and bought it for her. He’s setting it up so that she’ll be surprised when we get home. HOPEFULLY TODAY!!!!

May 18th… the day my spirit ached

Hi all! I’m sitting here in a hospital room with my 4 year old. About 3 weeks ago I had an enlarged lymph node in my neck. I had a fever for 1 day and the swelling went down. Turns out it was just a viral infection. The next week both my daughters had it. My older daughters healed itself but my youngest, Aria’s started looking worse on Sunday. So, on Monday before I went to work I gave her some Tylenol and when I got home from work took her straight to urgent care. They said that the recommended I go to emergency. And she got admitted because it looked like the swelling needed to be drained.

My sweet baby finally getting a nap.

While answering a million of the same questions by about 5 different doctors and nurses and feeling beyond drained my cousin texts me that my grandma passed away. Right then and there where I couldn’t be anywhere or focus on anything but my baby. It was so hard to sit there and be strong for my scared daughter when I was literally breaking inside.

My grandma in the top right and me the farthest right along with her grands on Mother’s Day 2015
The staff here have been amazing! They really make sure that their little patient’s have a little happiness during their time here

I’ve been dealing with this alone while trying to talk to doctors and having my daughter totally traumatized from all the poking and vitals being checked every hour and antibiotics going through her IV. I feel beat up emotionally. I feel guilty for not being able to mourn my grandmother in a healthy way. It’s building up and I just want to go home so that I can sit and feel whatever it is that I am holding in right now. I need to hug my kids.

She even got to make slime!

On a happier note… my family, co-workers, friends and the staff here have all been a huge reason why I haven’t completely lost my mind. The support has been overflowing! Thanks to FaceTime I’ve been able to see and talk to everyone and keep them updated live with Arias progress. Her neck is looking a lot better now and we’re hoping to be released tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Some feel good YouTube videos

Hey guys! There’s been some changes in the last week. I’ve gone back to work. It’s just one client for now. Because I work in a DOE setting I am unable to provide ABA services to my students. But now, if parents are ok with the services then we are able to work. It’s really hard though because of the social distancing guidelines some students are unable to receive services. I pray for all these families of special needs children who rely on the time that their children are in school to do things like go to the grocery store, prepare dinner, clean their homes and even shower because those things are very hard to do with their children. I pray for them every day.

Even though I’ve gone back to work, sadly it’s only 12 hours a week. Better than nothing I guess. But I do still have the rest of the day where I’m catching up on real housewives and Netflix shows. In the last couple of days though, I’ve been watching these awesome YouTube videos of musicians collaborating in song cover videos. My gosh! I feel so happy when I watch these. I’ve picked out of few of my favorites from a playlist I have. If you haven’t seen these, I think no matter what genre you’re into you’ll like them. At least on of them.

“The Prayer” performed by Celine Dion, John Legend, Andrea Bocelli and Lady Gaga.

One of my favorite songs and when Celine and Andrea sang this in the past I fell in live with it. It’s so beautiful that every time I hear it I get choked up.

John Legend #togetherathome virtual concert.

If you have an hour to kill (who doesn’t these days) you can treat yourself to a little John Legend serenade session. His wife Chrissy joins him and of course brings the comedy. Then you’ll hear some requests from daughter Luna. I enjoyed this.

Jimmy Fallon, Sting and the Roots “Dont stand so close to me”

Another great song that I love! Jimmy Fallon has a couple of good collabs with other artist but this was my favorite one.

Jennifer Hudson “Hallelujah”

This song with that powerful voice! Goosebumps the whole time.

James Taylor “Moon river”

Another favorite song done by another favorite artist! James Taylor has many videos like this one and I pretty much love every single one of them. I chose this one to share because this song has always reminded me of my grandma. It definitely brought on the tears.

John Legend “Bigger Love”

Love love love this song! It’s not a cover, but definitely a feel good song that I can’t help but wanna dance to every time I hear it.

Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber “Stuck with u”

Again, not a cover but another great one that I’ve watched a few times. I love the message behind the video. I also love all of the personal videos shown throughout the entire video.

Well that’s all for now. I hope everyone is hanging in there my kids are no longer enjoying this… they are ready to get out there and have some outdoor fun. I feel terrible for them. I hope that we can resume as close to a normal life as possible soon.

We got sick…

Hi everyone! It’s been a minute. My family ended up getting sick these last couple of weeks and I’ve had to muster up all my energy to help with that on top of everything else. I know we’re on quarantine but I could use a vacation! We were so worried because there were swollen glands and fevers. I’m pretty tough when it comes to getting sick and still cooking and cleaning, so when I felt the fever and swollen glands and chills… I was terrified. Turns out we all had a viral infection. So the good news was that it wasn’t covid but the crappy part is there’s nothing they can give for viral infections so we’ve been doing a lot of fruit smoothies and soups. And Tylenol for the fever. We’re pretty much over feeling crappy but we still have our swollen glands in our throats. Has anyone else gotten sick and felt so paranoid that it was covid?

Aria doing her project for school. A Self watering planter.

The kids are still doing distance learning for school. I still haven’t gone back to work nor have I received an unemployment check. So basically it’s Kahele’s paychecks that are paying all the bills right now. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s hard to describe… helpless? I’ve never not worked for so long. Even after having the kids I was back to work as soon as I wanted. Now, I want to work but can’t because I work at a school. And there’s really no way of income right now. Its frustrating and stressful worrying so much about money. We’re ok for now but if school doesn’t start back up until after summer I may need to come up with a plan. Maybe a summer job?

I let the girls paint these little houses I had. Anything to keep them busy and happy

Some good news… next week Friday our state will be opening up businesses. They’re always so unclear about things so I don’t know if this will include malls and restaurant dining, but one can only hope. I told Kahele “the first thing I’m gonna do when the mall opens is buy a soft Parmesan pretzel with cream cheese and a frozen lemonade. Then find a massage chair and swipe my card for a 30 massage while eating my pretzel.” I can’t wait guys. I will document so stay tuned!