Nawnie’s Log: Year 2.5

Dear Nathalie,

This may be the choppiest letter I have written to date – I am not caring today.

October in review:

This may be the month when I moved up in the Ranking of Favorite People! I have been with you a bit more than Papa this month. Let’s see how long it lasts, but you have been so excited to see me lately. Even relinquishing the hands of Mummy and Papa to walk with me on Halloween! Oh, my heart!!! Even though one day I woke you from your slumber and forced you to do things like put on clothes and brushed your hair and (GASP) cover your feet in SOCKS…all so that I could take you to Jenny’s for the day. You crashed hard in the car and stayed asleep after I delivered you to her couch. But did I take a photo of that cuteness? OF COURSE NOT! There is a reason we humans should not give birth in our late forties…YOU TODDLERS ARE EXHAUSTING!

Did you see the sass in that video clip? Mmmmhmmm. Good thing you are cute. This visit to church ended with you giving hugs and kisses to Miss Monica and one of the other volunteer before leaving. It was quite adorable, …another moment not caught on video. But we did get this:

Playing with Fishies

Did you see that ponytail? That is video evidence that it stayed in for at least 20 seconds!

And, much like your Mummy, you do enjoy rocks.20181013_181359-COLLAGE

One time while being your designated adult in charge, I had Papa on a video call and you had a toy golf club and inadvertently knocked the side of my phone with it while talking to him…you patted the side of my phone and told Papa “I sorry” – the cuteness was real.
November in Review:

November began with POTTY TRAINING…

…and a visit to the dentist for Mummy to have a cleaning. In an effort to get you dentist adapted you joined her, with me present as back up. You were fine sitting with Mummy in the chair, but then they put a “bib” on her! HEAVENS TO BETSY it was like they placed the most offensive object imaginable on her chest. You were not pleased and then when they leaned her back in the chair…that was it, your anger turned into despair. It was as if the reclining position meant that Mummy had DISAPPEARED! So, we went back to the waiting room and played with toys like this:

Hanging Out at Afdent

I love how polite you are becoming…sort of…when you feel like it. In response to “Thank You” we get a response of “yooweckom”…pretty sure that means “You’re welcome”

You celebrated Gracey’s 16th birthday and experienced being in the spying eye of Chris Jr’s drone. You were calling it to you and were fine until it got close, then you became a Papa barnacle…

Video:

Mummy says you apologize to all of the things these days… cupboard doors, stuffed animals. You are trying to be kind to all things under the sun

November was the best!  It was when Aunt Pixie moved back home from Washington!  Which was just in time for you to end up contracting Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease after celebrating Thanksgiving. (Which is also the year that I missed Thanksgiving due to a migraine and waiting on Aunt Pixie’s flight to land…c’est la vie) Apparently, before you left the Lovitt gathering you gave EVERYONE kisses.

Your vocabulary is expanding beyond our ability to capture it.  Even since October, you seem to get the L sound into “You’re welcome” and it comes out as two separate words.

You are surprising us with the things you say and do; on one occasion Papa was struggling to get you buckled into your car seat and after several failed attempts you uttered in frustration “come on” drawing out the word “on” in such a way that you would think you were 12 rather than a toddler.  I imagine at twelve our response will not be laughter.

I will say, that you are the epitome of The Terrible Two’s and to be honest (or lucky) I did not experience that with your mother or aunt.  Don’t get me wrong, they both had their moments but your moments are… well, a way of life right now.  Though your vocabulary is expanding I am hoping that once you master the English language and can CLEARLY state what it is that you want, your world will expand and your attitude may shift…here’s to hoping.

We pretty much wrapped up November with allowing you to decorate my Christmas tree…I had intended to “edit” your work after you left…but I couldn’t. Also…with Aunt Pixie home, we now have FOUR cats in the house and …let’s just say it is a good thing we don’t use glass ornaments and we have the tree anchored to the ceiling with twine.

 

December FLEW by!

Your Aunt Pixie joined you and some of the Lovitt family at Allie’s Cafe for lunch where you spent the time eating all of her fries and then walking her around the restaurant while holding her hand and waving and saying hello to other patrons.

Another cute moment that I have second-hand information on:  Before Christmas dinner with the Lovitt family, during Aunt Kelley’s blessing of the meal, you apparently were saying Amen, amen, amen…  AND I MISSED IT!!  After this occasion…NO ONE GOT KISSES.

We continue to take you to church whenever possible. I was present for this after church one evening:  You danced

…and received many compliments from The Ladies at church about your little poncho sweater…everyone wants one, including me.

You received gifts from EVERYONE and I spent way more on you than I had planned but did you LOOK at this activity center!  IT’S HEIRLOOM QUALITY! (the video quality…not so much)

During Christmas festivities with the Giles clan, you tried to rival your mother in her toddler injuries with a trip into some object and ended up with this beauty:

20181229_221928.jpgWe kept you overnight that night and I cannot tell you how many times you inadvertently brought Papa close to myocardial infarction…you DO NOT watch where you are going…at all.  Our kitchen table is a death trap of sharp corners.  The bad kitties like to chase things you trail behind you and force you to look at them rather than at the minefield that is our home full of SHARP CORNERS.

We did find the magic trick to getting you to settle down: WINNIE THE POOH MOVIES!!! You watched them in their entirety. I had never witnessed this before.

The next day you really did NOT want to go home, getting you dressed was a chore until Aunt Pixie decided to make it a game of hide-and-seek and that everytime they hid from us, she added a special piece of clothing that made her harder to find.  Not the most efficient way of getting dressed but it was a pleasant experience for you.  Also, when you “hid” in Aunt Pixie’s room…you walked in and GASPED and half-whispered “So messy!”  – this spurred Aunt Pixie into action later and forced her to clean her room.

On the ride home, you kept your head completely covered by a blanket and would not speak at all until we were driving in a direction where the sun was not shining in your window.  Truly, the moment we turned away from the sun, you popped your head out from under the cover and became Normal Nathalie again… although, I don’t know that there is a Normal…  You are not fully aged yet.

That is all I have Tiny One. Now I sit at home on New Year’s Eve with movies queued up and ready to watch with good company…Papa and Aunt Pixie…who keep harping at me to get off my computer so that we can start the movie.  This is the real party.

Happy New Year!  Don’t party too hard. Go to bed early…I know I will.

Love forever,

Nawnie

 

Freedom!

 

I shared this in an email to my fellow staff members today and thought it was worth sharing with the rest of my friends:

A very important reminder:  if you have not done so already, VOTE tomorrow November 6th!

If you live in Indiana you can find your location here:  Indiana Voter Information

If you live in Michigan you can find your location here:  Michigan Voter Information

I had the opportunity to go downtown on Sunday and vote early.  It made me happy to see how many people were there!  We were in line for 90 minutes!  The officer in charge of that line must have some experience in the art of puzzles or mazes, it was quite a thing to behold.

If you are curious about voting rights around the world, this article from 2016 shares some interesting graphs and maps.  I even learned that there are 33 countries where citizens are legally required to vote! “…in Belgium, not voting could make it harder to get a job in the public sector, and you might lose your right to vote altogether if you don’t do vote in four consecutive elections.” Think about that through the lens of freedom.

Nawnie’s Log: Year 2.25 (REVISED)

Dear Nathalie,

As you can see, now that you have turned two years old, I have changed to a quarterly review.  I am now beginning to wonder about the wisdom of that because I am trying to think back on the past three months and consider what is new.

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EDIT:  After posting I found the following blog draft stored away:

On July 2nd, Mummy brought you to me while she went to work.  You were very tired.  Mummy had been on vacation the previous week, and you had been accustomed to the sleeping-in schedule.  This is the beginning of your awareness to MONDAYS ARE AWFUL. While you suffered through waking up, I got you dressed for the day and made your curls bouncy, and tried to feed you breakfast…you wanted none of that.  You had found CHEEZ-ITS in your bag, and you wanted them.  However, you do not have the power to open the package, and when I kept putting them away, you kept scowling at me.  I offered you a banana.  You did not want it. So I put it in your bag for later.  THEN you wanted it.  You took ONE WHOLE BITE and then dropped it on the floor.  [sigh]  The reason I had you this day was that it was time for your regular well-child visit.  You loved the fish aquarium in the doctor’s waiting room.  You were fine standing on the standard scale but OH MY LAWD you did not want to stand against a wall and have some wild contraption come down to the top of your head to measure your height.  You would think the scream you let loose was because you’d received an injection, but NOPE…just getting measured.  Thankfully, no shots were needed.  Dr. Bajuyo says that potty training can begin anytime now.  That typically by 2 1/2 girls are potty trained.  (If I recall correctly your mom and Aunt Pixie were closer to 3…I was apparently a HORRIBLE mother) You are still in the 25th percentile for height and weight and all around average.  Dr. Bajuyo says that if you stay on this progression you should grow to be about 5’5″ tall.  Which is taller than Mummy and taller than me!  I would bet money that you are not gonna get to that height…but I’m just your regular human without a degree.

Before leaving for the doctor, you took advantage of Whimsy being in her post-surgery Suitical; I say “advantage” because she thinks she can hardly move.  You covered her up with a blanket and told her “Iyuvoo” (which is “I love you” when you have a bink in your mouth) and said “bink” while trying to give her your bink.  It was quite adorable.  However, you were somewhat confused at why I kept taking her away from you when you would try to grab her around her belly to hug her.  The patience that cat exhibits with you is saintly…for a cat.

We have taken you to church several times.  Mummy was a bit concerned about leaving you alone with the kid’s ministry peeps, but after about ten minutes or so, she realized you were fine.  Matter of fact, you did not care that we left and were somewhat indifferent to our return.  However, the last couple times with you were a little challenging.  On one occasion, you did not want us to leave you. I think part of that was we interrupted your nap and the other part was that you just LOVE US SO MUCH.  Then, the last time I came to get you for church, you were still napping, and you did not want to wake up, and you were just not happy about being in the car…because I did not want you to dislike church, I took you home.  The moment we returned to your neighborhood you became happy again.

When we first began bringing you to church, there were many movie style cardboard cutouts placed around the building.  You tried to share your beverage with a fake T-Rex. It was adorable.  Oh, and you love visiting the fishies…it is how we get you to realize where we are going.  Somewhere along the way, you acquired a toy fishing pole and brought it with you once, and in the back of the Envoy you were playing with it saying “Here fishy, where are you?”

 

 

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You really are using your words more.

You really do like us.  I know that on separate occasions Papa and I have each come to visit and when we were going to leave you ran to the door and pressed your body up against it and said “NO!”

You definitely show empathy, when you have mini fits and throw things, and it happens to land on one of us, and we react with a simulated pain response, you come over to comfort us and apologize.

You are now tall enough to turn on/off light switches and open all of the doors.  I pity your parents when you can reach the countertops.

UGH… I cannot recall enough of these past few months.  I FAILED!!  Woe is me.

I do have photos!  This one shows you are positively related to me – you are wearing a unicorn hoodie and brushing your teeth!

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These are just you being adorable

 

 

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These are from you participating in Pokemon Go Community Day.  It was appropriate that you were there because it was the special Chikorita event and that is what I have been known to call you.

 

 

This little video shows how you know how to get what you want.  Papa had told you NO, you cannot climb the cat tree, so you walked over to him backed into his lap and you just KNEW he would pick you up to where you wanted to be to torture entertain Whimsy.

 

 

 

This next video is longer…your Aunt Pixie will love watching it.  I had taken you to the playground, and after watching you climb this thing a million times, I decided to videotape it…and then…DUN DUN DUN…I failed again.  Your mommy arrived, and you spotted her and I…well wasn’t on it.  I should not have been filming.  Although, I don’t know if I could have stopped it without telling you not to climb it.  Anyway, you fell, you cried, Mummy scooped you up, and you were ANGRY…nothing would console you (I did not get this part on video), but you just had to go and climb it again!  Also, those little pants were ruined from the playground dirt…I’m not sure Mummy will ever forgive me.

EDIT:  my original posting of this had the WRONG playground video, following is the actual video with the traumatic moment.

 

 

THIS final video is me being a good and attentive grandparent…I think.

 

 

You are our little bundle of crazy joy and love and attitude all mixed into one.  You are at your cutest when you want to snuggle…which is not often because you typically want to GO.  So, here is you being STILL again. (okay… you were sleeping…whatever)

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I am going to try to be better at this quarterly thing and perhaps have more, if not as many, stories as photos.

We love you little Chikorita.

Stop growing, please.

Love, Nawnie.

“It is easier to ask forgiveness…”

This comment came up at lunch today.  It always makes my ears perk up… because I hate it.  Allow me to explain why:

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than for permission.”

Again, I feel intense and passionate dislike for this statement with every fiber of my being.

To this statement of preferring ease, I ask:  “At what cost?”

I can accept this thinking from children who are testing boundaries.  As parents, we learn how to work through this with our kids…and pray that we were brave enough to help them understand the longer-term repercussions of this type of thinking.

As a child, you have the excuse for your brain still developing. You may not truly understand how it affects the person to whose authority you have thwarted.

As adults, I will grant the consideration of believing that it is simply something you have not really considered there is a cost.

So let me get to the point.  As a Christian, this old adage is often used as a weapon.  Yes, forgiveness is a tenant of Christianity.  However, though I am commissioned to forgive you, I am not required to trust you.

With each offense in this arena, you risk hacking away at the cornerstone of trust that relationships are built upon.

Was it really worth the risk?

cornerstone of trust

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 47th birthday, and I am still here!

“Shine on me sunshine
Walk with me world
It’s a skippidity do da day
I’m the happiest girl, in the whole U.S.A.”

Today I want to celebrate my life by celebrating my life:

Thank you, God, for knowing me before I took my first breath! Thank you, Jesus for my salvation. Thank you to the church I call home for helping me understand the gift.

Cheers to you Mom and Dad, for bringing me into this world! To both of you and my siblings – Amy and Ray for the life and love and all the things that went into the forge that created the foundation of who I am.

Thank you, David, my love, for helping me become the person I am and for loving me even when that person is selfish, or snippy, or overall less than lovable.

“Skippidity do da
Thank you oh Lord for making him for me
And thank you for letting life turn out the way
That I always thought it could be”

Thank you, Breanna, for being the best first child in the world. For being like me and so completely different than me that it challenges my thinking and makes me look deeper into that which is life beyond mine.

Thank you, Paige, for being the best second child in the world. For being like me and yet being braver and still mellow and laid back. For worshipping with me and understanding the tears in the worship.

Thank you to both my daughters for making me laugh until I cry, for making me cry because we all need to. For the triangle of tears that formed some cornerstones of our relationships now that you are both adults.

Thank you, Nathalie, for being you. For being excited about life and helping these older eyes become open to discovering things as if they were new.

Thank you to my extended family, for the love and life and joy and sadness and history.

Thank you Lovitt family for accepting me as one of your own. Primarily Jack and Lois for being so solid and consistent and open. Thank you to the three sisters Lovitt that have shown me what it SHOULD be like.

Thank you to my sister friends, Lori, Paula, JennieBean, Christa, Julie, Jen B, Shelley, Rachele, Jeanna. I wanna cry thinking about how much I love you all and how grateful I am that you are my people.

Thank you to the fellow humans that authored the journey that brought my beloved pets into my life. (Thank you to all the animal people out there that understand this.)

I am certain there are people not mentioned specifically here that I am grateful for…there are so many of YOU! I don’t have time to write that novel, but know that if you are in my life in any way and have stumbled into this post, know that I am grateful for your presence. Every encounter, every conversation, every moment of shared joy or pain…every…single…one – adds/added/will add a layer of substance to the person I am. And…

I like me.

So, thank you!

Now go out there and light a sparkler and think about everything you have to celebrate!

“Now shine on me sunshine
Walk with me world
It’s a skippidity do da day
I’m the happiest girl, in the whole U.S.A.”

________________________________________________________________________

Consider this to “post-credit extras” to my life:

The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA

That song always makes me think of my childhood… always loved it…always felt joyful when I heard it.

Just for kicks, I will also include the song that stuck with me in childhood…

Nawnie’s Log: HAPPY TWO YEARS!

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Dear Nathalie,

I have a hard time accepting that it has been two whole years since we were blessed with the wonder that is YOU! As you can see, I am officially accepting the title of “Nawnie” and yet I know that somewhere down the line you could call me something else (hopefully always something kind)…for now, it is Nawnie.

Because I was so tardy with my last post and am RIGHT ON TIME with this one, I am trying to find out what, if anything, has developed along the way.

You are still selective in your use of language. But you are starting to come around. My favorite is when you start toddling in a direction and then turn around and say “C’mon.” When a toddler says “C’mon” – you follow. I will enjoy your desire for my inclusion in your adventures for as long as I can.

Other favorite things for Papa and I would be the way you say the words “shoes” and “keys” – you emphasize the wrong syllable. Shoes sounds like shoose and keys sound like keece. Exhibit A: (note… the word is uttered around 40 seconds in but the video goes on quite a while beyond “shoes” but for those who love her and don’t see her often, I include the entire interaction that led up to choosing her clothing for the day)

I love how Papa tries to teach you which shoe goes where and how you say “Thank you” in context…and the way you cock your head and look at me like I’m adorable when I ask you to say “Apple Jacks” – perhaps I am easily amused.

You have very specific expectations for our cats. (Yes, I always have to have a cat update) Often telling them to “go way” when they are in a space you don’t think they should be, and just as quickly you try to smother them in your love. Speaking of cats, your mother shared a story of making smores at home and you only wanted the marshmallow, but then you spit it out, squished it in your little fist, and then tried to pet the cat…Mummy saved the cat.

On a recent visit, we took you to breakfast at PEGGS downtown. You are NOT restaurant trained. Apparently, you don’t do meals, you simply graze. We chose the location so that Papa and I could participate in Pokemon Go Community Day. (Don’t judge) Little did we know that there was going to be a Pride Festival there as well – you had dressed appropriately for the occasion (see following GIF) and you loved all the colors and the dogs that people were kind enough to allow you to pet.

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You attended the family reunion for your paternal great grandmother’s (aka Gramma Lois) family. You paid attention to no one new. Pretty much dragged Papa to wherever you wanted to go…and of course he followed.

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I need to be more kind when including Papa in your photos…these are not good representations of how handsome he is.

Speaking of Papa, on that same day of the reunion, he actually left you alone with me for a few hours! Now, understand that when you come over Papa follows your EVERY STEP and it is exhausting! I had come to the conclusion that you were a very busy child. Papa is very nervous of possible injury or mess or…who knows…but he takes his responsibility of you VERY seriously. Me, I do a perimeter check to make sure there are no knives or chemicals that you can reach and I let you go. While Papa was trying to leave, he was so convinced that his leaving would throw you into a tizzy he kept telling me to distract you so that he could leave. I ignored his requests and just told him to go. So, when after the reunion he left you in my care, I actually sat down on the couch, turned on Puppy Dog Pals and left you to your own devices you were pretty chill. Oh, and at one point I sneezed and you said “Bless you” – oh my heart! Back to you being chill…so chill that you hung out next to me and admired the softness of my pants (which you also kept pointing to and saying something that sounded like “cute” – great taste by the way) and you lay your head on my leg and actually WATCHED THE CARTOON!! I have never seen you watch a cartoon for more than a minute. Don’t get me wrong, you were not motionless during this time, but you stayed in the same room and you were content to do your own little thing without injury or destruction! We practically BINGED the ENTIRETY of Puppy Dog Pals that was available on Netflix! Holy Cow! This was a MONUMENTAL MOMENT! Angels were singing. Glory to God was given! You were still.

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No, I do not plan to use the television as child care when you come over. I learned that was wrong AFTER raising Aunt Pixie. It’s okay…she survived and is very smart. She even enjoys NATURE!

That wraps it up for now. Papa and I will come to see you later, maybe I will edit this post to include a photo of you on this special day.

EDIT: official day of birthday photos, action shots of course.

Happy Birthday Nathalie!

Love, Nawnie

GranDawn’s Log: Month 23

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Dear Nathalie,

It has been quite the whirlwind of a month.  Rather than write a novel about things that have happened, AND because I am EXTREMELY late with this post (Nine days. This might be a record)  I am going to do some bullet points with the exception of this first revelation:

You are calling me something between Nani (Nah-nē) and Nawnie.  Though Nani in Hindi actually means “maternal grandmother” which is incredibly accurate for a child of your age that has been raised in the midwestern part of the United States of America. I will accept it if that is where you land, but I am encouraging the Nawnie version for two reasons:  First, it is phonetically similar to what my mother calls me (Dawnie) and I am very likely to respond this moniker and second, I do not speak Hindi.  I do take comfort in knowing that, as a Hawaiin name, Nani means “beautiful” or “splendor” – ultimately, either way, these two things you are calling me are a WIN!

You spent an entire week with your paternal grandparents leading up to Mother’s Day. It was traumatizing for your mother, and you my dear have raised your Fit Throwing Level to Professional since that visit.  Oh. MY. WORD!! You went from Amateur straight to PRO without even touching on Intermediate.  It could be a coincidence or you experienced a 5842616120f4098101eae9a8b6a92201level of spoiling that you simply were not receiving from your Indiana clan and FOR THE HONOR OF GRAYSKULL you are determined to regain some spoil action. Let it be known…we aren’t having it.

{Confession:  I lied…I can’t do bullet points}

You had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with Aunt Pixie who was visiting for 10+ days.  You were the highlight of her visit. The first time you fell asleep and she was able to snuggle you like this in almost a year…I think her heart grew three sizes that day. (Shout out to Dr. Seuss!)

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As your grandparents, I feel that we have spent a great deal of time with you this month.

We visited the zoo with you…chipmunks running around were a big hit. As were the average local birds flying around. Goats scared you. The rest of the animals grabbed your attention as long as they were moving and lucky for us it was a coolish overcast day and many of the animals were out and active!

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As you can see in the above picture…I do believe I have a fellow curly girl in the family.  Someday you will appreciate your curls, as you don’t have the coarse texture with them…You are welcome.  Mummy is learning how to properly manage and encourage them.

You’ve spent quite a bit of time at Lauren and Casey’s where you met all of their farm animals and even rode a pony…or a horse, I am not sure…an equine of some sort.  Your cute shoes were muddy as …well, they were very muddy and even taking my scrub brush to them barely made a difference in their discoloration.

You have learned the phrase “I love you” but in your language, it sounds like “Wuv you.”  Mummy did capture this on video and shared it with me, but you are totally naked in the video and I am not posting that for the world to see.

You don’t like us having gates up at our house.  Prior to now, we have had some rudimentary pseudo barriers to keep you from going downstairs or into rooms we wanted you to stay out of…so, seeing a gate at our house for the first time, let’s just say you were less than happy about it.

Other fit worthy things include:

  • Not letting you ride a bike in the house.
  • Making you come inside.
  • The adult holding you has the audacity to go from a standing to a seated position.
  • Turning off the water before you are done playing in it.
  • Someone besides you has your blanket
  • Someone besides you has anything you believe you should have
  • Stacking blocks
  • Not stacking blocks
  • Putting the toys away
  • The word “No” (unless uttered by you)
  • Putting the broom away
  • Adults disagreeing when you say “MINE” when it is indeed NOT yours.

{Hey look!!! Bullet points!}

We have figured out that you are afraid of the sound of a train whistle…which is unfortunate because that sound happens a lot at our house even though we don’t live that close to a train track…sound carries.  You just WAIT for a low flying plane!  The trains will seem like a pleasant lullaby to you.

I feel like I am forgetting some things but at this point…my brain hurts trying to recall all the things that make up the wonder that is you.

OH WAIT!  New Nickname… NattyRoo.  I believe there is a reason behind it but I cannot think what it was.  Will consult with Mummy and perhaps update this post.

Until next time Roo…

Love…Nani…Nawnie  (whichever)