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Friday, December 20, 2013

Computer headaches

I've had this laptop since Christmas of 2007, though it doesn't feel like it's that long ago the computer world says otherwise. I've had so many problems with this lovely HP. I've had the ram upgraded, I taken it in to have the memory cleaned to a hard drive and the latest headache is a message that keeps saying the computer memory is full when I hardly save anything on computer hardrive anymore! I've been trying to put off buying a new computer but now I can't view photos due to low memory... Very frustrating but I really didn't want to part with this machine. Oh well like all electronics these days they have a time stamp on them...our consumer society dictates that we buy buy buy. A lot of the time things aren't worth fixing as they cost about the same as buying a new one, like irons, vacuum cleaners, electric jugs.... Enough ranting this morning. Good Morning World:)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Domestic Abuse, Violence, Samoa

And so we're back to Square One as one brave lady in Samoa Sina Retzlaff speaks to the media with a bruised face from a recent beating by her ex husband the well known ex-Manu Samoa ex- Highlanders rugby player Brian Lima. It's disgusting that after she's divorced him he still did what he did. I saw Ms Retzlaff's picture with bruises and all on the Samoa Observer site but what struck me is the determined smile through the pain. Domestic violence in Samoa and every where in the world is disgusting and I hope this particular abuser Brian Lima gets time in Samoa's horrid prison for what he has put his ex-wife and their children through.

What bothers me more about this case and many other cases in Samoa is the fact people are quick to return the blame on the victim. Asking questions like, but what did she say or do to get a beating? The fact remains that a coward is the man or woman that beats on his/her physically weaker partner. 

My journalist younger sister had just completed a 16 days of activism campaign against Violence in Samoa and my own older sister decided to speak out about her experience of being abused by her ex-husband. We are well aware of the hurt, the tears, the consoling and the urging the victim to leave that comes with the territory. It's a really, really tough situation where you see clearly that the victim should break free, but the victim is so absorbed in the cycle that she just doesn't see what everyone else sees. The fact that being beaten is wrong. The fact that their kids are exposed to this wrong doing. The fact that staying together is more detrimental to the kids fragile state of minds than any good. The fact that they deserve and can have an abuse free life if they choose to. However it is up to the victim to make the mental and actual decision to leave the abusive situation. In the end when they choose to break free they need a strong support system to help them out. We, as the support must never give up hope and always be there for the victims. I had read everything published during this campaign and I thought my sister hit the nail on the head with this campaign. It is about admitting that we have a problem and about educating ourselves about what is wrong with our current thinking towards violence in our homes, upbringing, schools, and general environment. 

Sources: Samoa Observer, New Zealand Herald, 16daysofactivismSamoa

Short Desert Trip 2013

In celebration of our wedding anniversary hubby booked our little family into the Desert Nights Camp in the Wahiba sands in the Bidyia, Al Wasil region in Oman. It took us two hours and a half to get to the camp from Muscat. The dual carriage way after the highway was a little bit scary as dare devils overtake without considering oncoming traffic half the time. We got to the camp without incident. As we parked our car trying to sort ourselves out, a hotel porter showed up in a small cart and welcomed us to the camp. We loaded the cart with our gear and went in to the reception. We were received warmly and offered cool wet flannels to freshen up, a welcome gesture after driving through the sand. The camp was easy to find following the instructions given on their Desert Nights Camp website. As the golden sand dunes came into sight I felt butterflies as I was so excited to go back to the desert since 4 and a half years ago. Master Five was even more excited as he pointed to camels and goats and asked questions about the desert as we drove through the dunes to get to the camp. The camp was situated between tall sand dunes. We immediately enquired about activities and booked what we wanted to do straight away to avoid missing out from overbooking. Master five and hubby booked a quad bike ride that same afternoon and we planned to go up the dunes to watch the sunset later in the afternoon. Master Five kept singing that he wanted to ride a camel and we were told the camels were brought in every morning for that purpose. I took baby to the room to relax and let him crawl around after being cooped up in the car while hubby and Master Five went off for their quad bike ride. Later we got a ride to the top of the dunes and I happily clicked away with my big camera to try capture baby on the dunes just like we did 5 years ago with our older son. The sunset was just magnificent once more. I always experience a sense of peace and graciousness in those moments, it's just gorgeous and the fact we're in a desert far from home really brings everything into perspective.
Big son took his rugby ball so he was having a great time kicking the ball on the dunes and running after it. then rolling down the dunes and trying to slide down. He really enjoyed it. We had a few drinks at the bar until dinner time. The food was yummy and a lot of local cuisine was served which was delicious. A two men local band was playing soft music during dinner which was quite relaxing. We sat by the bonfire for a few minutes before we called it a night. We all had a lovely sleep. The big bed was very comfortable and so were the pillows. The night was cool so we didn't need any AC. The rooms were clean and spacious and beautifully designed. There was hot water and tea making facilities which was awesome.

The next morning we were up early to enjoy the breakfast. There was a well equipped playground which my son had a good time playing on. The camels were brought in and master Five happily hopped on the camel lead by the camel herder and rode around the camp grounds before coming back to base. At 10 we were taken to a further steep dune to sand board. Local guide Issa was friendly and new his dunes and his toyota! So we drove to the top of the dune we took turns sand boarding down and then Issa would drive down in the car and take us up again! It was fun and the boys really had a good time. I went down once but enjoyed taking pictures and making sure no sand flies landed on baby who was happily crawling around on the fast warming sand. after half an hour we went back to camp. the boys went off for another quad bike ride while bubba and I relaxed and then we packed our gear and headed back home. We had such a beautiful night in the desert and I really want to do it more often once more!

Skin products

After putting baby to bed I thought I'd have a bath. I remembered a beesline facial mask I bought at a salon a few weeks ago and thought I'd use it. So I applied the product on my face and hopped in the bath. I felt stinging but I thought it was the product doing it's cleansing thing. After a few minutes I washed it off but my face felt hot and when I looked in the mirror a very red face was looking back at me. I tried to stay calm washed my face with more cold water to cool the burning sensation and was keeping the 'panic' at bay. I grabbed the aloe vera gel I have and applied it to a small part of my face and that helped. I held a cold wet flannel to my face to keep it cool and hoped it brought the redness down. I googled allergic reactions and low and behold yours truly was suffering from this. I'm so disappointed with myself for not testing the product first but having said that there's no warning on the packet that could have reminded me to test it before putting it all over my face. Anyway the moral of the story is...test products on a small area on your body and wait to make sure you're not allergic to it before proceeding to use it all. I won't be buying Beesline products any time soon!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Old age and retirement

As I grow older I've been fascinated with retirement and 'old age'. I mean what is old age and what is expected of those who have retired. The norm seems to be people retiring and spend time visiting children and grandchildren or help raise them. However in this day and age this has really changed. For starters what is old age? We seem to think that old age is when people retire or stop working which is around 60 to 65! Retired folk that I know are fit, robust people. There's a study floating around  that found people died shortly after retiring and it is suspected that it's due to boredom and depression from change of routine and not feeling needed. 
Looking around me at all the sixty plus year olds, I find highly unfair that retirement is forced upon them. It's unfair that age seems to determine people's usability(?). My mother has hit seventy and is fit, robust and a hard working woman. Somehow retiring or ceasing to work does not fit into her vocabulary. My dreamy view of grandma travelling around the world visiting her grandchildren seem selfish and just that: dreamy. My mother enjoys her work and helping people and one can never stop helping others! My mother does visit her grandchildren when she's on one of her work trips! The same goes for my parents in-law. They are hard working people past their sixties and they are very good at what they do and manage to fit family into their working lives.
Two of hubby's colleagues retired last year and those two men were at the top of their game. One was a trainer and both had over forty years of flying under their belts and it just seemed so unfair for these men to stop flying when they were both of sound mind and hadn't had incidents at work and could fly better than many others around! The retirement age should be reviewed case by case. Retired folks are said to drain the social system in certain countries due to many living in to their nineties...so why force them to stop doing something they love to do while earning a living as well? 
I'm working on changing my view of the future as living until I check out but not seeing a certain age as the finish line or slow down lane. I have a lot of respect for people that have retired and are still making the most of life and have not slowed down due to age. Obviously it's different when one has an ailment that forces them otherwise. 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spammed


Sadly I got spammed last month! My gmail sent out a link for people to click on that sent out the virus to others. I just noticed it sent it to my blog as well! So I apologise is anyone got spammed due to my negligence to check this blog.


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~Every moment, thank God.~

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Birthday FotuoSamoa

Wishing my beautiful sister a happy birthday today. So I read on your blog that you're going to be flat out on  your birthday so hopefully all goes well at the event and then you can have a well deserved drink and yummy dinner with your hubby when you're all done. Thinking of you today and wishing you a long fulfilling life. God bless. Love you

Friday, September 20, 2013

Facebook - the positives

Funny how we all complain about Facebook and it's lack of privacy and what goes on there and yet we all pretty much have a Facebook page! How else would we know how irritating it can be! Well in this entry I beg to differ. I like Facebook, almost love it.
I like how it keeps me in touch with family. Family whom I never met, I hardly know or with those I grew up with and then moved overseas. And it helps me keep in touch and reconnect with friends. Friend that I'm close to and new friends that I make along the way. The latter I find weird but this is about positives. 
I like being updated on my family and friends activities all over the world. You get a perspective of peoples lives through their updates. I find that interesting. Seeing updates from a seasoned pilot flying all over Africa, to bored teenagers in Auckland. The social life of vivacious gay friends in London to doting mums in Fiji. From the struggles faced by a new lecturer in Canada to an aid worker in North Africa. The vibrant social lives of expats in the Middle East to the workaholic by day and party-animals by night lives of family and friends in Samoa. The funny refreshing view of life from a retired great-grand-parent in California to don't-give-a-damn ones in Australia. And then the constant travelling updates from friends who travel all over the world from a manager in Dubai to an Organisation worker in Switzerland to civil servants and sports people in Samoa. Whether I like it or not it's people with whom I've chosen to be friends and stay connected with on this specific social network. The irony I find is, everyone thinks they're terribly different, when in fact we're all uniquely the same. And the best thing about it all is, when you've had enough madness from some you just hit: the unfriend button. 

Possible

Back now after nursing baby, I put him back in his cot fast asleep, so I decided I still want to blog so here I am.
Baby's been sick for a week. I took him to the doctor the very next morning he got a cold and well 4 days later he was no better. Back to the doctor for follow-up and change of medicine and he's back on the mend thank goodness. So my sleepless nights are coming to an end thank goodness. Poor bubs was so clogged up he just couldn't sleep well. Baby's now 5 months and a few days old, he's a big boy...very strong and healthy except for the odd cold here and there so counting my blessings that he kicked that one in the butt. But boy being a parent is really scary at times. Wanting to take the pain from your child is one of those superpowers you wish you had, to help them. The upside throughout baby's sickness is his appetite remained the same. Big smiles for that one as it generally means it's not serious. I was trying out this new doctor so will hang with her a while longer and hope to stay with her as baby's main doctor. 
So far all is well in this household once more. smiles all around:)


Impossible

Enjoying my quiet time I decided to sit at my computer and update my blog and then baby cried,
and cried
and cried....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer holidays through Europe 2013

We started planning our summer holidays since my husband's leave application came through. Of course we're Samoan nothing's concrete until closer to the date of travel. Moreover we had the arrival of our second baby before we could fully confirm everything. We did appreciate that in Europe it's summer holidays for schools and work so places get booked out fast. We wanted to avoid hotels and do apartments so we can cook our own food at times and I find this a lot more comfortable than relying on hotel services and food. I found an apartment in Rome through Housetrip.com It's a site where people rent out their apartments and houses. I found us one that was very close to the Vatican City and still easy to reach the Colosseum and other major attractions in Rome. A lovely Agri-tourism place in Tuscany based in a vineyard with 10 apartments was found and our holiday looked promising from there. We got a two bedroom one as our friend was travelling with our family of four. The place had a pool and smack in the heart of Tuscany, 10 minutes drive to the little town for groceries and 15 minutes the other way for bigger necessity shopping. It was just idyllic. We overlooked the famous rolling hills of Tuscany.
The start of our trip we were  going to stay with our relative near Salzburg and we were going to end it in Zurich. We were very excited and just couldn't wait to get going. Praise be baby was born and he's a healthy little snuggler so the trip was looking more and more realistic as the time drew closer.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Samoa vs Italy Ciao Bello

Oh my, our Manu Samoa are on a roll. Last  week they beat Scotland and today they beat Italy 39-10! It was an even game in the beginning though Samoa lead in the first half but by the second half Samoa went on to score 4 more tries! Manu Samoa played so professionally I was so proud. So they played some minor SA team 2 weeks ago and lost but I put that down to the fact that the boys had just come together before the game! So by the Scotland game they had ample time to train with one another and get to know each other. The real test would be next week against a tier one team: South Africa. Here's to the Samoan boys play a fantastic match next week.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kids

When I think of blogging at the moment, all that comes to mind are my kids! It's so weird saying 'my kids', I guess it's due to having had one child for almost five years before our second pepe boy entered the world! Speaking of pepe boy now he's back to his normal sleeping pattern. It takes me an hour to put him to bed now rather than 4 hours a few days ago! And then he sleeps for almost 8 hours! I love it.
However yesterday my 4 year old woke up with a fever. We gave him panadol and then he was himself again after 30 minutes. By the afternoon he had high fever again and off we went to see a doctor. Today our lounge is Tau's hospital room and he's still not well. Last night he was feeling sorry for himself. Sobbing he said he didn't like being sick and he's sorry that he couldn't cuddle and hold his baby brother nor 'help' me do things for him. He was so sweet it nearly broke my heart. Here's a four year old who's very sick and all he could think of was how he couldn't help his baby brother. Like they say, sometimes kids really teach us some. 

Manu Journal
This week his chatting skills are getting better and I love this stage where we can baby talk! I learned this with my first born that if you copy their sounds they sound it back to you and on it goes. It's sweet and pepe is smiling also which is just super cute and just brightens my world. 



Friday, June 07, 2013

Kindy Graduation

A lot of our friends have come down with the cold and so we too caught it. It's going around and well it's very hard to dodge it. Since my throat felt scratchy I quickly took the usual remedies to kill it before it got worse. I just didn't want my poor newborn pepe to get it too. Unfortunately 2 nights ago he felt a bit warm and so early the next morning we took him to the doctor. We got some medicine just to help him get rid of the viral infection he had. Luckily by today he's not too warm. Tonight however he is having trouble sleeping and well this happened a couple of times before and I must admit it freaks me out thinking... is this the start of a bad stretch! The life of a parent I guess. It doesn't help that one of my friends carries on about how her 'good' baby became colicky at 3 months! Thank you for the positivity...hag. Anyway here's to hoping my pepeboy feels better tomorrow.

My big boy had his end of year concert at his Montessori kindergarten. I dropped him to school and then I sat in the lobby to wait for the concert to be sure I get a front row seat as I had promised. They had been practising for this concert all month and it's been so lovely listening to his singing in the car in English and in Arabic so I was excited to see him in action. Last year he wasn't really into these performances on stage due his not being able to spot me in the crowd. Once they opened the doors to the concert hall we managed to secure front row and middle seats and once Tau came out he saw me right away and I was rewarded with a big smile on his face. Well he performed like a star and I was so proud of him. He held his own throughout the performances and it's pretty amazing how these little kids managed to stage an hour long show with no major hiccups! Kudos to the teachers and their skills. The kids did a body movement show and a song about professions and a Montessori theme song all in both English and Arabic. At the end of their show they had the kids in graduation gowns and caps and then called each one to get their certificates. It was so cute and I wish I knew they did that I would have made ulas for Tau as we always do. Either way my boy made me proud and he really followed through with his performance on stage.



Monday, June 03, 2013

Post-Baby 2

Vanity
Obviously the new baby has kept me blissfully busy that I haven't blogged since baby's birth! But here I am again. Baby's now sleeping up to 7 hours at night and I love it and now I'm pushing my luck for I am still awake at 11pm when I should be snoozing to get enough beauty sleep. Which brings me to that subject...beauty... vain I am yes who isn't? right? Har!
So baby's now 7 weeks and my uterus has just about shrunk back to it's pre-baby size according to the doctor and yes the tummy is still flabby but well that too will shrink(I pray:p) When my 4 year old sees my tummy he asks, mummy when will your belly button be like mine again? So unfortunately he's my judge now and well until he decides mine is like his then I guess it's all good...haha 
Yes it's nice to finally be back to normal again...well almost I can't do strenuous exercise until much later according to my doctor. So until then I will try and start little and eat well...(inshallah)

Big Brother
Four year old son has been such a wonderful big brother to baby. He adores his brother and says the sweetest things. I kid you not, I've heard and read about jealous siblings and so we prepared Tau well before baby was born with positive comments about the baby and how he would be the big brother and that he must help and protect him especially while he's little and I guess it worked. When baby's crying and I'm busy Tau would go to the cot and sing him lullabies...as in an endless made up lullaby...such as "you shouldn't cry baby brother, I'm here to protect you... mummy will be here soon" Tau is so adoring of his brother that it just makes my heart swell. In the morning he asks to have his cuddle time and hello time with 'baby brother'. After kindy he comes home and wants to hold him and kiss him. The 'hold'(while he sits on the couch) lasts about 10 seconds and well I couldn't ask for more. He's protective to the point where he doesn't want his friends to kiss or rock the baby in his rocker...because it's his job as a big brother. So there we go big brother has nothing but Big Love for our newcomer.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blessing from Heaven

16 Apr 2013 4:11pm
Everyone left baby and I alone this afternoon and I compiled an easy listening playlist to relax to with baby. I played an all time favourite in celebration Pale ua le So'o and felt the spirits of my grandma and strong ancestors, the mana of my mother and living supportive family and friends as I danced and sang on my bed and cried tears of joy, pride and gratefulness for the gift of life we have been blessed with once more.
I cried that Manumailagi has arrived safely,
I cried that he is perfect,
I cried that he is strong and
I cried for a future with him filled with love, joyful moments and endless possibilities.
For this Blessing from Heaven I am forever grateful to our Heavenly Father. And together with Tauilagi I am complete and bask in God's Glory. Faafetai I le Atua.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pregnant Boredom plus...

Boredom
So lately I find myself utterly bored! Yep over 7 months pregnant and bored! I wonder if this is my pregnant dilemma. I don't get nausea nor other common pregnant predicaments but I seem to find myself in moments of unfathomable boredom! It's really strange but I guess I might as well dwell in this sensation until pepe arrives and I'll be wondering when I had the time to be bored! I've been reading alot of novels and find TV boring. I've just read a Kate Atkinson novel for the first time and it's fantastic. Now I'm scrambling to find one more of hers so I can get lost in it. 

Plans
My son has two days holiday from kindy so tomorrow we're going to spend our afternoon at the beach. I'm looking forward to having a swim in the sea but not the sun exposure(mindful of sunspots and all)!

Treats
Today I came home and hubby showed me more mangoes and avocados that a friend of ours brought back from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Hubby went there last week and he came back with a bag of them on Valentines Day and I had been indulging on them for the past two weeks. When he found out our friend was going there this week he asked if he could bring some back this week so I'm one happy camper. The mangoes are so sweet like those in Samoa and so fresh they sure beat the ones we buy from the supermarket that were plucked from the trees way too early. The avocados also are rich in taste unlike the supermarket ones! I'm blessed and God bless the hubby for his thoughtfulness and our friend for bringing more back:)

Moe Time
So we've finally sorted out our 4 year old's sleeping routine in time for pepe's arrival. Before, it was a fight to put him to bed but after persistence and discipline since we got back, now he can go to sleep on his own after reading him bedtime stories. It's just been fantastic. He still crawls into our bed at the early hours of the morning which I don't mind one bit. He's still my pepe so will keep on enjoying the cuddles. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Pregnant Update

I'm now past my seventh month so not long to go before a wee loud person joins this household! I've been enjoying my morning walks on the beach breathing in that morning air from the ocean while the weather is fantastic. Two weeks ago I started pregnant yoga classes. I love yoga generally and am glad I found a good class this time again to join. The instructor is fantastic and is a midwife as well so she knows her stuff. I still find it so weird to be in a room full of pregnant women though! Anyway so I've been enjoying the stretching and waking up with leg muscle pains from some of the stretches which has been very invigorating. Last week however I found myself fighting back laughter(the fob in me at play here) when the instructor had us on our backs holding our legs and then telling us to breathe deeply and exercise the vaginal area. Like squeeze and let go, squeeze and let go. All I could think of was that I was going to break wind plus "am I really being told to exercise my vagina!! in a class." I think all ya fobs that read this will see it the way I did! Just too funny. We did it again this morning and I swear I was going to laugh out loud. Anyway luckily I didn't and once again walked out feeling fantastic.
Last week on one of my beach walks I got cat whistled at. I found it rather disgusting and disturbing! Anyway I'm excited to see our little baby and in the meantime our four year old is very excited also and telling me all the ways he'll help me with his little brother/sister. However it's not "I'll help you change the nappies" anymore...it's "you can change the dirty nappy mummy and I'll put on the clean nappy!!" And I've slowly started to sort things out for pepe. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mundane tasks to be completed

I'm way overdue to do my sugar level blood test. I've yet to do one during my pregnancy so I decided to do it today as hubby will be home to pick up Mr 4 while I spend the morning at the hospital. I stopped eating at 9 last night. I woke up to get my son ready and make his lunch yadayada at 6am and normally I eat a quick breakfast with him but today I had to keep reminding myself not to due to the test. I dropped Mr 4 and went for my morning walk with my water bottle but tried not to drink too much of it. I also tried really hard not to think of how hungry I was. I came home showered and drove hubby to his work to pick up his car then made my way to the hospital. They took the first tube of blood when I arrived and given the sugared drink to inhale. Yuck Yuck it was disgusting. The nurse told me I had to have my blood twice in two hours to my utter disappointment. I thought I was only there for an hour and now I had to stretch my urge to eat a horse and a cow to 2 hours! yikes. 
I had a book with me which I tried to read before I fell asleep on the uncomfy chairs and complained in my head that they should have lazyboy chairs for this kind of thing. Finally 2 hours later of sitting on my arse and getting pricked three times with a needles I was let go to which I rushed home to enjoy a yummy chicken/salad sandwich hubby made for lunch. It was one of the best sandwiches ever considering how hungry I was. 
So we're trying to de-clutter our house before baby arrives. Hubby bought some shelves and organisers from the ever trusting IKEA in Dubai this week and he's upstairs putting them together in Mr 4's room so we can better organise(stuff) his toys into. I'm downstairs with the task of putting lose toys into the other set of shelves to which I've given up after 20 minutes. I can't think of a more boring task though it must be done. Next on the list is to clear our office/study so that we can fit a bed in here for guests. We have one guest room and the baby will need a room and I don't think it's a good idea to squeeze the visitors and baby in the same room when the need arises. I want to have the baby in it's own room after a few weeks! These are plans whether they eventuate is a whole other story! We can also put baby with my son but it's hard enough to have him sleep in his room all night to have a crying baby in there isn't going to help matters! Once again we will see. 
So back to having to sort this office out so we can get rid of rubbish and organise the stuff in here that we need. Get rid of some unnecessary furniture and move in a couch cum bed for visitors. Kafefe we'll see how long this will take us to complete. On top of that we have less than three months to start organising baby's things such as wash clothing and clean what will be re-used from my son's baby days! Ia tatou tatalo fai mai ai pakele:) Wish me luck and endurance and patience and sanity and motivation and whatever else needed for these mundane tasks! 
Also need to hang up pictures that have been on shelves, print some more family photos to go on the walls. Get a collage made that stars Mr 4 and his travels. He saw our collage of photos from before he was born and was very upset that he didn't feature in any photos! It was funny but of course he wasn't laughing. Self-realisation lesson followed that he was not born yet when those photos were taken. He felt better when I told him that his favourite cousin MM wasn't in those pictures too as like him, she hadn't been born yet! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pink Blessing

Yesterday my youngest sister gave birth to an 8lb+ baby girl in Samoa. I added this video of this beautiful song sung by Samoa Teachers Training College from the 50s that we grew up dancing to. I remember the endless Samoan dancing lessons with my mom to these songs on the old Record Player. It brings tears to my eyes that we couldn't be there to welcome our little niece and to be there for my baby sister but this song makes me look forward to the dancing lessons and fun we will have with all this little princess in the future. Praise the Lord for another beautiful gift to our blessed family. Fa'afetai i le Atua.