Friday, July 31

6 months

This little girl is so quiet and mellow, it's scary! She just had her 6 month checkup this week and she is currently 27in. long, and since her last visit (for being sick) at the beginning of the month has lost 1.4 lbs. She was 22.8 4 weeks ago, and now weighs 21.4. Doctor says this is ok, since she was actually overweight before. Since I have stopped pumping all together (due to laziness), she has been feeding straight from the tap, which is hard for me because I much prefer to see how much milk she is actually getting, but good for her because she is burning calories while doing so, and therefore maintaining healthy weight. She got some more shots and her ears pierced last weekend. She is eating solids like sweet potato, carrots, and peas (doesn't really like the sweet stuff) and an occasional chicken bone (which was ill-advised by the doc the other day, so that will stop!) No teeth yet, but there is one in the works and her hair is still in progress . She loves playing with her dad, but is very much a mommy's girl. When on her tummy, she used to just push her body with her feet to get places, but now she is actively utilizing her knees and feet to crawl forward. It is so hard to eat around her because she stares at us with a sad face and licks her lips. She is also very grabby, so we have to be careful what objects are near her, be it food, or otherwise, because she is relentless. She is so easy and I love that she has been sleeping through the night for months!

Tuesday, July 21

Jazzy Fete

My niece dances for a Tahitian dance group called Nonosina Hawaii and 2 weeks ago they were one of few participants in the annual fete held at PCC. This year's Te Mahana Hiro'a O Tahiti started off with the solo competition on Friday night (7/10), and then the group one on Saturday (7/11). Jaz competed in the 14-15 year old division (about 12 girls) of which she took first place, and then went on to win the Overall against the winners from the 12-13 yr old division and the 16+, which included last year's first place winner. On Saturday, Nonsina Hawaii went on to win most of the group competition categories as well. Jazzy is so humble and quiet and you would never take her for the kind of girl to put herself out there, performing in front of lots of people. But her love of dance more than makes up for whatever shyness she has, which is why I am such a proud aunty. As the eldest grandchild, I had the privilege of watching her grow from infancy, and babysitting her while my sister was finishing college. I still remember when she was barely a year old, trying to do a dance to Ilona Irvine's version of "Taapeape Papa" in our living room! She was so graceful and smooth then, just as she is now..truly, a beautiful dancer!

These clips don't do the dancers justice, but I wanted to those drums are fast!!!

First group of 3 during the first round of 14-15 yr old division
Jazzy is the 2nd from the left (brown and orange)

Part of their aparima number from Saturday's group competition

Monday, July 6

Blessing Laila

*photo by Shanae Jones
It was a near miss (again) but we finally did it. Laila was blessed yesterday in our home, with very close family and friends around (the ones that actually got the message) and with the support of our awesome bishopric. It has been long-awaited, but well worth it considering this day was postponed for months, at first because we waited for my parents' visit from Utah, and everywhere else in the meantime because my husband was not ready (nor I for that matter). Those who know us well will confirm this was no easy task, especially on Bo's part, to prepare himself to bless Laila. The adversary worked hard to break us down and inhibit his progression (even through me) but all things are possible because of our Savior, and having a good and great God made this occasion an example of that fact. It was a momentous event for our little family (nothing short of a miracle) and we could feel our Heavenly Father's love for us and for our daughter on her special day.
*photo by Shanae Jones
Just before the blessing, Laila got some photos taken of her by a friend and up-and-coming photographer, Shanae Jones. My poor baby was only asleep 5 mins before we had to wake her up, hence the very angry/sleepy face. She was so tired, but didn't cry during the photos and also didn't make a sound in the priesthood circle. I was very relieved because that would have only made Bo more nervous. I could feel that he was overwhelmed by the responsibility that was his, but we both witnessed the spirit strongly, and had to take a moment afterwards to calm our emotions. We had awesome help preparing a feast on behalf of Laila, serving chicken, ribs, shrimp, fish, lusipi, NZ sausages, sweet potato, rice, crab and potato salad, cakes, fruit, faikakai (sp?), trifle, cinnamon rolls and mango otai. Since we actually canceled the blessing 2 days before only to reschedule the next day, we failed to invite everyone we wanted to and consequently sent people home with trays of grub. The most important thing was that my daughter finally got her blessing, and that she, along with her father and I are better for it.

Laila Fiagatsi Malupo, your life has been such a gift. You have the name of your aunt for a reason, because I truly believe you were sent to bring us together, not just as an earthly family, but as an eternal family with God. Something about your temperament, your spirit, your aura exudes peace, and it has been a joy to watch you grow and experience the world around you. A friend suggested once that the veil is still thin with infants, and if that is so, your smiles are enough to convince me that you, me, all of His children, come from a glorious place worth returning to. I love you always, Mom.

*photo by Shanae Jones