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Mele Kalikimaka from Maui


Last week Pania and I ventured to the Garden of Eden to take her holiday photos. I know, I know I was really far behind on getting our Christmas cards out this year. I wanted to find the perfect holiday dress as it was a tradition my Mother did every year. Luckily I found this sweet locally made dress at an adorable shop called Droplets in Makawao. I paired it with a red flower headband, to match the poppies on her dress, and some black sparkly shoes which Pania instantly removed as she went hurdling through the gardens.

I have not been to Garden of Eden in years, this was Pania’s first trip and I don’t think Todd has ever been. It is a lovely botanical garden covered in tropical bliss, a wonderful place to explore and photograph. We originally wanted to get married there but they do not have the proper permits so it fell through. I had been dreaming of a place to have our holiday shoot and knew it would be the perfect place.

However trying to take photos of a toddler on your own is pretty hilarious. Even with the stunning surroundings I went in with no expectations of getting the “perfect” shot and just followed Pania around as she picked flowers and gathered rocks. At twenty-one months she is in the 90th percentile for height (2’11”) and weight (28 lbs). We recently took her to the doctor because she had her first fever. She is fine now and because her development is going so well we do not need to have another check up until she is three.

Just this month her speech has advanced into more cohesive phrases. She has always talked a lot but we never knew exactly what she was saying. Lately she has been focusing more on how we speak and will often repeat back what we say. I think at first she was just speaking her own language and found it odd that we did not understand her. So I guess she just decided she would learn our language instead.

Her expressions have developed even more as well and she is so engaged in everything around her. She absolutely LOVES  music. The first thing she says every morning, apart from mana (banana), is lalala, ooh. It is the cutest thing and we always have music playing. Her favorite band right now is Phantogram (sorry Taylor Swift, you’ve been replaced).We decided on a music theme for gifts this year and I can not wait for her to open presents on Christmas morning. It will be exciting to see if she continues this interest in music as neither Todd or I are musically inclined. Although I do enjoy singing loudly in the car while driving.

I am officially on holiday break from work and am looking forward to spending quality time with Pania, Todd and our hanai ohana. Maybe we will take another trip to the gardens as a family. Although now that the weather has been cool and rainy it is so nice to just relax at home. Especially as all the holiday preparations are finished and the count down until Christmas begins!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Lots of Aloha,


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  • Reply
    December 23, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    looks like you! And your Dad- except that awesome hair! Merry Christmas!!

  • Reply
    Mama Nō Ka ʻOi
    December 23, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I thought the same thing. I can definitely see him in her. Merry Christmas xoxo

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