Family


Marriage Spotlight: Fitness and Motherhood

Julie is 25 years old and is a wife and a mother to two beautiful girls. She has been married for 3 and a half years and is a dedicated runner and fitness motivator on her social media platforms. She has some awesome motivational posts @fitbusy_mom on instagram. We are so blessed to have her share some personal insights about marriage and family.

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1: What are 3 things you value most about your marriage?

The companionship, our children and the team work we do.

2: What has been the biggest adjustment for you being married?

For me it has been learning, understanding and respecting my husband’s ideologies. We grew up in different countries and completely different way of living. So our ideologies are very different. He grew up in a very small town in Central America with the very basic needs and I grew up here (US). Even though I didn’t have luxuries I did have a little more than he did with many more opportunities. So, that makes us see situations differently.

3: What was the best advice someone gave you for marriage?

I’ve been giving many advices from different people, and I don’t remember the exact words of the one that stood out the most but I do remember it said something like ” if you put your spouse other first, your marriage will last our life time.”

4: What have you done to get through your tough times in marriage?

Think and pray. Every time something difficult is going on I turn to my Heavenly Father, no one can give me better guidance.

5: What has been the most enjoyable part of being married?

I would say everything, the happy and difficult moments. They have made our marriage stronger and we’ve gotten to know each other more.

Any other comments: marriage isn’t easy, I’ve read that marriages only have happy Moments. We did not married perfection but someone with lots of potential. If we turn to Heavenly Father, always staying close to him and asking for his guidance he will be there for us, making our lives better and marriages easier.

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Toddler Affirmations

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(Bracelet by: Just an Arm full of Sugar)

Aroha was born with a bilateral cleft lip. Before she was born I had no clue what this was or how she got it but all I knew it was here to stay even after the surgeries. The biggest fear I had when I found this out was how was I going to be a support to her as she starts to grow older and realize she was a little different physically than the other children. Once a little girl myself I knew how it was to grow up being a girl and surrounded by all the media and how much it focused and preyed on women’s self-esteem and confidence, I also knew that kids were just plain honest and upfront whether they hurt feelings or not. I knew that even after her surgeries there will still be scarring.

So for the longest time I was saddened in what will I say when or if she came home crying being teased, or no one would play with her and if didn’t want to go to school because of the kids, or when she didn’t want to look in the mirror, or when she would say she wasn’t pretty. How could I help her know that she was special, beautiful that we are all different in our unique ways and it is awesome to be yourself?

Being into all this self-development jazz myself and applying them into my life, a light bulb went off in my head. If I as an adult uses affirmations to change my mindset why can’t my daughter?? I then came up with some simple affirmations for both her and I that we could recite together. .

I AM BEAUTIFUL

I AM BLESSED

I AM LOVED

I then wrote these affirmations on her bedroom mirror and made it a habit that after morning prayers we would look into the mirror and say these together. Sometimes we will also recite it in the bathroom mirror while brushing our teeth. I also did little actions with each word so she could do them because she could barely even talk. Aroha loves doing the little actions in the mirror and I love saying them because it helps me remember these important truths as well as well.

Reminding her she is beautiful no matter what anybody else says about her. The most important person that needs to think you are beautiful is yourself. I am Blessed is so she remembers that she has so many blessings in her life both big and small. And I am loved is so she remembers that she is forever loved by her parents, herself and God. Although she does not fully understand the whole concept behind repeating these phrases everyday I am hoping I am planting some little seeds that  will be planted to come to remembrance when the right time and place comes.

Have you thought about affirmations with your children? What are some words you use? If you have any thoughts questions or comments about building relationships with your children I would love to talk to you. Feel free to send me a message at info@ourhappytalk.com.

xo Be Amazing!!!

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Joking or Emotional Abuse

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Realization

We all know how it feels to be physically abused. But emotional abuse is something that has just shed light on me in the last year of being married. It started when a friend was talking about her step-mother being emotionally abusive to her father and how it was terrible for her and her family. I asked her what things did she do.. she went on to describe the things she did and I laughed and said “that’s everything I do and that’s totally my childhood of my family and other families I knew!” She didn’t seem to find it as funny as I did. I guess what was normal to me wasn’t so normal to somebody else. We ended that conversation awkwardly but it left me with the desire to further understand what emotional abuse was.

Generational Pattern

Emotional abuse is a more difficult to recognize and can go by unnoticed in a relationship for a very long time. Growing up in a polynesian community it is renowned fact that men are generally speaking the physical abusers. But thinking about the emotional abuse, I grew up seeing this mainly in the women in my family and community. Emotional abuse doesn’t just happen in couples in can happen in friendships between parent and child or with relatives.

Emotional abuse is when there is a regular occurrence of bullying, criticism, shaming, manipulation, verbal abuse etc. Growing up mocking and putting down was a tactic to motivate someone to do better, and just for entertainment. We use to just keep mocking until that person cried and that was usually the goal and it would be jackpot if they ended up crying. It was completely normal although many times we were really hurt inside but couldn’t show that we hurt otherwise we would be mocked even more. Mocking can be disguised as fun and jokes but usually are very personal and offend one to the point that it seeps into their subconscious.

For me I did notice that I was hurting my husband but I just kept telling him he needed to toughen up and man up to not take my mocks to heart. Or that he was just being too sensitive. What I didn’t realize is that It really did hurt him personally, and it made him feel less and insignificant and that is what mattered not what I thought but how he took it. It took me a while but I really didn’t learn and see examples of healthy communication around me that was the only form of communication I had learnt so I had to pick up on some healthy habits quickly.

Break the Cycle

While mocking take a moment to think are you trying to gain power over somebody. This is a key factor to bulling or being emotional abuse you want to be in power you want to have control over somebody. A person who does this can have many reasons to why they do this. They may have been mocked or abused as a child and are hurting and the way they cope with it is by trying to hurt other people verbally.  Whatever the case be, see that person for more than their actions. There are usually deeper issues that lie beneath. I know that this was the case for me. Support them and show them love so they can learn from good examples. If necessary offer support and help or kindly refer them to a professional of some sort to work out through these issues.

Jokes are fun but when they go beyond the point of fun and are mean then we got to take a couple of steps back!

Would love your feedback and comments about this. Let me know what you think. If you or somebody you know is going through something like this I would love to talk about or message me at info@ourhappytalk.com

Be Amazing!!! xo Tracy

 

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5 Ways to Boost the Romance

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Keeping the spark alive can be difficult in marriage when you have been married for so long and then to add on top of that you both are crazy busy, with school, work, the children, church or community responsibilities and everything else that life throws at you. Sometimes you throw your marriage in the backseat! I know for us that’s how it feels like sometimes when my husband is hardly home. So today I just wanted to share a few things to keep the fire burning even when you have a billion things going on.

  1. Schedule Date Night/Hour – This is a must you need alone time together without the kids if you don’t have a whole night squeeze in an hour. We have also made it more of an effort to schedule it in before the week has started so that we don’t let it be the last thing on our mind to do. So grab a calendar and pencil in your date nights before something comes in and fills up your week without even realising it. Also make your date nights simple and not overly complicated and neither of you want to plan it out. For us we just spend an hour walking around the block, or we just grab and ice-cream to talk about our week. This makes it easy to fit in the budget and not overwhelming it will put you off.
  2. Overnight Getaway – My husband have made it a goal to do this 4 times a year where we can just go away for a night and not be woken up in the morning by our toddler. Decide what is feasible for you and your family. This is another thing you need to pencil into your yearly calendar. If you haven’t noticed I love planning and scheduling therefore finding a time together with your spouse to plan is essential for your marriage if you do it for your finances or at work why not for your love life? Plus the bonus part about knowing your overnight getaways you can split it up and each of you can take turns deciding where you want to go and what you want to do. Plus you can also find some really good deals ahead of time and find reliable babysitters for the little ones.
  3. Sexual Intimacy – Yeah we all get tired at the end of the day and this may seem like the last thing on our minds so make and effort to squeeze it in anytime during the day even if its only a little quickie. This relieves stresses and help you bond for a few minutes together if nothing else.
  4. Send extra love through the day – An extra thank you note in his lunch box, email or phone can do immense things for each other during the day. Just letting them know you love them in a different way can make all the difference in a horrible hard day.
  5. Kiss and Hug  Often – Just kissing more can change lots find any opportunity to randomly kiss or hug him or a simple touch can help the other spouse feel loved, and supported.

What are ways you and your spouse have tried to increase the romance in your marriage? Would love to hear your thoughts. If you have more questions on increasing romance or improving your marriage relationship I would love to hear from you. Email me at info@ourhappytalk.com or book a discovery call today!


“Same Team Remember…”

How often do you see couples mock each other to a point where it gets really awkward. One of them would get offended or embarrassed then they would bring up something of the partner, it would then turn into a putting down session where each are digging out stories from the past.  That couple use to be my husband and I embarrassingly enough.

Not trying to justify my behaviour but my culture is a complete mocking culture. You mock until that person cries. Mocking is jokingly referred to as another way of expressing love. I’m positive that mocking is the 6th love language. But in all seriousness this is a very destructive behavior that can diminish our self-esteem and confidence. It may seem like fun and jokes for a while but repeated long enough can have negative effects on your relationship. If you need to tell jokes find something else not your spouse!

As of lately we have recognized how quickly we can spiral down when we start mocking each other especially in front of friends and family. Isn’t it crazy that we are putting down the person we love the most. Isn’t this the one person we should be showing most love and respect yet also the easiest to put down? What my husband and I have begun to do is that when one of us are going down the track of mocking, the other spouse as kindly as possible lovingly says “same team remember…” instead of starting with another story to combat. Saying “same team remember…” is telling your spouse in the kindest way that what they are sharing is either, embarrassing, offensive or mean to you whether they agree or not means they need to stop sharing that story or mocking. Applying this simple phrase has helped us so much avoid arguments, and feelings of anger and bitterness.

Do you and your spouse constantly put each other down? Do you want to improve your communication? Post your questions or thoughts down below or email me at info@ourhappytalk.com or schedule a free introductory coaching session with me.

 


50/50 Relationships Don’t Work

If a mother applied the 50/50 rule to her newborn baby, most mothers would have ditched their baby within the first couple of days. Instead a mother whole heartedly gives her everything for the baby, her time, energy, body and love without expecting anything in return. The mother applies the rule of 100/0, she gives 100% of love with no expectations of something in return. (although newborn cuddles and smiles somehow is our reimbursement) So if a mother’s love is like this why do we turn the tables around when it comes to our spouses and even people around us.

The ultimate example of the 100/0 love is that of Jesus Christ. He gave His all for us and knew that some of us would not care but he did it anyways for everybody! This is the example of perfect love that we should strive towards. So why do we always expect that we need to get something in return equal to or of greater value to what we give and many a time expecting without giving?

I did the laundry so you need to do mow the lawn!

I changed the diaper twice it’s your turn now!

I am very guilty of saying these statements too often. If we looked at our marriage 100/0 these statements wouldn’t need to come up because both individuals are aware of each other’s needs and a simple “could you please could you do this for me I would really appreciate it” will go a longer way than “I did this so you do this….”Keeping score of who did what will always put a strain on any relationship.

Too often we look at relationships and marriage as a 50/50, where it needs to be fair and equal. Give and take. Yes to a certain degree that is important but can you imagine how powerful a relationship would be if it was 100/0 and both parties agreed to it applying this rule. Meaning both would put 100 whether or not they were receiving love or not. Of course this is the perfect world this can never be a reality right… Here is a cute story of 100/0.

I for sure need to work on this, because I am the recipient of such love. In my moments of stubbornness and pride I put 0% effort and give up while my husband is footing the 100%. I am so grateful during these moments because this is what pulls us through the difficult times if either one of us are still holding on and trying there will always be hope! Of course it’s not going to be 100% ALL THE TIME… but let that be standard. Lets all make an effort to put in 100% in to our marriage and family relationships. Put our score cards away and just give it our all.  We really can’t afford not to.

If this is something you are interested in or have more questions or ideas message me at info@ourhappytalk.com. I offer marriage coaching sessions for individuals that want to improve their relationship with their spouses, so if you would like a free session schedule a time with me today. Would love to hear from you!

 


Love YOURSELF!

You can’t give from an empty well.

There is a clear difference between being selfish, self centered and taking time to rejuvenate yourself. To me it’s the difference where one is the end in itself and the other is a means to an end. We woman have such a nurturing spirit that we always want to help serve and cater. Especially as mothers and wives we are always trying to support our children in their dreams and also our husbands in their goals sometimes we may forget about our own. Sometimes I even feel guilty that I have my own dreams and goals that I want to accomplish and am working towards.

But very often I have come across women who are burnt out and tired and exhausted because they are running around catering to those around them and have taken little to no time to look after ourselves feeling unappreciated for years of selfless service.

My Story

I had the mentality that if I take time to care for myself I am not being a good mother and all time should be to help my family. I shouldn’t dress up and put make up because that will mean I’m worrying and spending too much on myself and that is selfish. Sometimes I would even feel guilty for going to the gym because that is time away from my family although I would go in the morning before they woke up. Taking care of myself was the always the last priority, and any time should be used with husband baby even if that meant I was run down and awful to be with. It came to a breaking point where I just drove myself crazy being inside the house all the time with baby and my patience just wore thin with her, I would dread being at home all day long and be miserable when my husband finished work.

“It’s a not a luxury, it’s a must which you shouldn’t feel guilty about. Mums especially are good at shuffling themselves to the bottom of the pack and naturally looking after family and friends before themselves.” Lorraine Thomas, Chief Executive of the Parent Coaching Academy.

Things to Remember:

  1. Me Time isn’t selfish but it does allow you to share your whole self with those you love. If you don’t allow time to rest and refuel then what you give your family isn’t your personal best
  2. Self-care is an important part of motherhood. Whether its reading a book alone, going to the gym, or getting a pedicure, looking after your physical will help you feel better inwards. Your confidence will increase and help you feel like you have life by the horns! (even if it’s only for 30mins)
  3. Your children benefit directly from your personal growth. Growing your life allows you to share more of you with your children. Your children will be able to learn that they need some time out too.
  4. You don’t have to wait till bed time to have “Me time.” You can sneak it in throughout the day when baby is at the park I take my book along in case she leaves me alone for more than 5mins.

The biggest lesson I learnt is that I can’t be dependant on other people for my happiness. I am my own creator of happiness. I can’t expect my husband to make me happy all the time or my children or job or friends. When all is said and done and you have nothing left in the world the only person to make you happy is yourself and if you can’t make yourself happy who else will?

Be Amazing!

Love Tracylesieli


Intentional Marriages

WHITESMarriage requires constant work and effort but nevertheless can be the most rewarding commitments one can make in their lifetime. I don’t know how it is for some people but for me I had a lot of changes I had to make. I didn’t realise how selfish I was, I didn’t realise how prideful I was, how to communicate my feelings effectively and the list goes on all of this became so evident in our first year of marriage. I doubted my marriage decisions many a time and even if I was worthy to be married to anybody.  Not to mention I was pregnant 4 months later and was feeling self conscious about my self confidence kept declining not to mention a lot more hormones adding to the mix.  It was a very bumpy road and therefore we had to be very intentional about our marriage or it would literally fall apart. We both had a lot to learn and still do  but today I wanted to share some things that we did and currently do.

  •  God First: Putting God first has immense power. When you put God first you have the desire to be patient, understanding, forgiving and helps you put things in perspective. Take a look at the blog post which I dedicate to this topic. Includes praying and reading together often like everyday! This can help you before problems occur. Reading the scriptures and praying together enables you to have strength to have your priorities in order. 
  • Love languages: The wonderful book by Gary Chapman. I did a video about this forever ago. But understanding each others love language really helped me understand how I can show love to him. In fact reading any books on love and marriage can help propel your marriage.
  • Self Time and Date Time: We need alone time. I didn’t realise this until recently but we need time to ourselves individually or doing something that you enjoy. Sometimes that might be with just the girls or the boys. And date time you need to make date night a priority with you two alone to keep the fire blazing!
  • Recognize the underlying problems: Sometimes because your spouse doesn’t want to go to your parents house isn’t because they don’t like them but because they don’t feel they spend enough time with you. Try digging a litte deeper to find out what the real problems may be.
  • Communication: Can’t get enough of this one. Words, Tone, Body language have a big impact on our communication especially in the most sensitive time. Be aware of what you are communicating to each other. Pay attention to your body language because it may send messages you don’t want them to take the wrong way.
  • Calming Techniques: This is the hardest area for me. Letting your husband you just need some time to think it over is better than just storming off. Before you let your top blow off try counting to 10 , taking deep breaths or any other calming techniques. The best time to talk is when you are both level headed.

Marriage is a journey full of ups and downs. Enjoy the ride as you grow closer each day. How are you being intentional with your marriage? I would love to hear some of your tips. Comment and share if you found this useful.

Thanks


Home with no TV?

What you don’t have a TV? What else do you do? It’s interesting to me that so many people can’t imagine a life without a TV. If you go into most living room areas where it supposedly meant to be “family time”, everything is organized so that the TV is the central focus of the living room. (family time is now tv time) Before you get on me I am not an extremist not allowing technology in my home and I am not judging you for having a TV in your home. I am also not against having a TV because we do have our own vices we have a laptop and a smartphone that can take just as much or more of our time, but just going without a TV means one less thing we have to worry about. I am merely writing this article so we can be conscious of how much our children are exposed to screens instead of interacting with real humans aka family, nature and discovering things on their own.

act for themselves and not to be acted upon –  2nd Nephi 2.26

Approximately 99% of households own at least 1 Tv. Average TV per household is 2.24 which then if you add laptops and computers and also cellphones even ipads etc…can you see how quickly consumed our children can be attached to screen time whatever form it may be.  In the same survey 54% of 4- 6 year old kids said they would rather watch TV then play with their fathers!!!

But aside from my kids benefit the real reason is I will get sucked into it. Yeah I already don’t have much self-control when it comes to my phone and laptop so what makes me think having a TV is going to make it any easier. So not having a TV is mainly because I need to practice using my time productively, finding things like reading, going outside, doing my blog. TV is just one less distraction I have in my house. But for those of you out there are pretty good at self control and can manage your children’s television time and can use your time productively big props to you guys out there! Keep it UP!

Pros of NOT having a TV:

  • She wakes up and wants to play with us (also a con on saturday morning)
  • I don’t have to fight her to do something else
  • She doesn’t whine to watch TV (just to play on my phone)
  • I can spend more time with her during the day
  • We spend more time outside
  • We do more hands on activities
  • We take time to see friends and attend playgroups
  • She keeps herself busy with toys and looks at books for entertainment
  • She is always investigating the house for new things to play with
  • She is able to focus on a task for longer periods of time

Cons of NOT having a TV:

  • Miss out on some educational shows they can learn from
  • I don’t have an easily accessible babysitter to keep her occupied
  • My house is generally more messy because she gets into more things
  • It’s harder to show her new things like different animals around the world
  • I get less chill time

With this said there if I do get desperate and need some sanity Signing Time on YouTube is my emergency plan Z. By all means we are not perfect and we need lots of improvement with using our phones and laptop during family time. Our daughter is pretty good at reminding us by coming and shutting the laptop so we can pay attention to her. haha So let’s all evaluate our situations what is distracting us from doing the things that are most important is it phones, computers or televisions, and manage our time a little better. How do you manage screen time and television in the house? Let me know some of your creative ideas!


Aroha’s First Year Milestones

Aroha 1st year has been an eventful year, from reaching most baby milestones. I don’t like to post much on social media but I think this will be lovely to look back on when baby is 21 years old. (if the internet is still around) On her birthday I wrote this letter or her, a little piece of wisdom from her momma!.

I was induced on the night on the 6th of January and my water broke at around lunchtime on the 7th of January. Aroha was officially born at 10.21pm weighing in at 6.11 lbs?? This photo was taken a few hours Aroha was born with still a fair bit of swelling (from both of us) lol. She was born with a bilateral cleft lip, that occurs in 1 out of every 700 babies. This was a complete shock to both of us. We also had some difficulty trying to decide on a name for her so as we walked out of the hospital we decided on Aroha Marlee Mou’i he Tui White. (I know it’s a mouthful, blame the tongan in me.)

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This is aroha a few weeks old. Still sleeping a lot and starting to get the hang of being in the real world. IMG_0376e

Aroha at 1 months (Feb) was blessed by dad. It was a beautiful blessing as all my family were able to be there. We also were finally moved into our new home, and were able to get all the painting and recarpeting done. She hated doing tummy time but it had to be done. First time she followed me with her eyes.IMG_20150208_144138

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At 2 months: (March) She hated going on drives in the car and would scream all the way to and from any place. One time she cried for 45mins straight driving from salt lake to ogden. Aroha loved it when mummy would sing to her and play music on the keyboard for her. And she loved swinging on grandmas swing, that would be the only way to get her to sleep. She also got a fun visit from aunty ofa!

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At 3months old: (April) Aroha had her cleft-lip surgery, which I shared previously on another blog post. The surgery took about 2hours and she had to get tubes in her nose for a month. She loves looking at herself in the mirror.

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At 4 months: (May) Aroha looked a lot different. We had to get use to her new smile as it was a lot different. She also didn’t like the tubes in her nose as it made it super difficult to breath. Aroha moved into her own room and we also began her sleep training at this age which wasn’t a fun process, but really made our life easier especially which my husband working and studying full-time.

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At 5 months: (June) Aroha went to her first temple open house. We went to the open house in Payson and we got to go in and look around in this beautiful building dedicated to the Lord. Aroha also got her first shots which was a lot harder for mummy. She took them like a champ!

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At 6 months: (July) I started her straight on finger foods through baby led weaning. With no teeth she managed to eat mangos, avocados, peaches, and even started eating toast. We went on her first camping trip, which she loved, and later went on some family trips to Bear Lake. Through the summer we did lots of fun family outings.

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At 7 months: (August) Aroha decided she was going to start doing planks and slowly figured out how to crawl. It took her a little while to figure out how to crawl, but she did it and nobody could stop her! We also had lots of fun in the sun and went to summer parades.
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At 8 months: (September) Aroha got to go to my very first football game in a All Blacks outfit. And we also went on lots of family hikes and picnics, because the weather was perfect. Aroha just loves being outside like every other kid.

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At 9 months: (October) We had a family picnic outside the temple and listened to a conference session. We started a halloween traditions to pick pumpkins as a family. Aroha dressed up as a little strawberry for halloween and stayed and helped give out candy at Grandma’s house.  Aroha also learnt how to walk even though we did nothing to help her.

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At 10months (November) We had our very first thanksgiving as a family in Vegas. Aroha survived a 7 hour car drive there.

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At 11 months (December) We went to New Zealand and had a blast with 2 weddings and 3 birthday parties. Aroha got to develop her savage Tongan side. She also grew fond of dogs and birds. She picked up more signing while in New Zealand than all the other months. Aroha also got to be in several places, Las Vegas, Arizona, Hawaii, San Francisco, Auckland, Utah all in one month.

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At 12 months (January) Aroha is finally a year old with  intuitive little personality that we all adore!! She signs over 10 words which is way more than we knew how. Aroha loves climbing up and down stairs. Her favourite tv show is “Baby Signing Time” (and only show she watches) She has no teeth yet. She eats everything you put on her plate. She has been sleeping right through the night since forever ago. We had such a fun birthday party when we were in New Zealand. Hope you enjoy the pictures!







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