Friday, December 31

Seeing the World Through a Child's Eyes

With the new year a few hours away, I've come to the realization that ever since Maddy came into my life, seeing things from his perspective has pretty much dictated how this family operates.

What do I mean by that? For example, since Maddy doesn't really know what day Christmas falls on, we let him open his pressies early. Since he doesn't know when my birthday is, I'm not putting any importance on it either. If Madison thinks swimming in the pool is the greatest thing since sliced bread then I do too.

Watching my boy grow up is like going through my own childhood all over again. Who ever knew that the fountain of youth was becoming a parent?

Happy New Year from all of us here in Samoa!

Thursday, December 30


This is a photo of Madison smiling for the camera. As you can tell he's trying his best to smile but our little hero hasn't quite mastered the art of smiling on cue.

He just cracks me up!

This is Madison right after him and his best friend Teresa finished going through the other next door neighbours place and stealing a balloon and a pair of goggles. I must remember to return them when I get home from work.

Happy Child

I was in two minds whether to name this post "Happy Child" or "The Easiest Job in the World" because when it comes to looking after Madison both come to mind.

Rach had a work function last night so I was at home with Maddy. He was such a good boy, he and I played and watched tv and when he was ready, we ate dinner. He ate half a hot dog, some jello and a whole hash brown. Afterwards we had a shower where he proceeded to wash himself with no help from daddy whatsoever.

Madison almost never cries, even when he doesn't get his way. He'll fall down, scrape himself and still not cry. He's a li'l toughie! He's such a pleasure to look after... sometimes I get the feeling he could look after himself. That's my boy!

Tuesday, December 28

Xmas 2004

We didn't do anything terribly exciting over the long weekend but it was very enjoyable nonetheless. We spent Christmas at home, it was a nice day, Rach and I made a big lunch (yummy too!) and we got the pool out and all 3 of us spent half the day in the pool cooling off.

Madison had opened all of his gifts prior to Christmas day so he didn't get to open any pressies but he didn't seem to mind. I'm glad most of the gifts our family sent over were waterproof because Maddy just had to have all his toys in the pool with him.

Nanna sent him a Hairy Maclary dvd for xmas and Maddy loves it. He calls it "Hairy Tary" and most mornings he insists on watching it while he has his bottle of Milo. This morning was no different, he was so caught up in it that he didn't even bother to say goodbye to us when we took off for work.

Friday, December 24

Merry Christmas!

On behalf of Madison and Rachel, I'd like to wish everyone, especially our families in New Zealand and Aussie, a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

We'll be thinking of you all over the holiday season wishing you were here.


Madison & his 2 slaves

Thursday, December 23

The Polar Express

Yep, that's Madison's new fave movie. We rented it a few nights ago and he won't let us take it back.

I don't know if you've seen it but it's a Christmas movie about a little boy who doesn't believe in Santa starring an animated Tom Hanks. It's quite good.

Christmas Shopping

Yesterday we went Christmas shopping with Madison. He pointed out what he wanted and mommy bought it (as long as it wasn't toooo expensive).

We intended to wrap up all his new stuff and put it under the tree but as soon as we got home Maddy insisted on opening everything up. *sigh*

There's something about this boy... it's almost impossible to say no to him!

Wednesday, December 22

Hi Dog!

This is a photo taken last night while me and Maddy were out back feeding the dogs.

Madison was talking to the dogs as he was feeding them, "Hi dog" and "Hello dog" it was so cute. I think he expected the dogs to talk back and was not too happy when they ignored him.

Tuesday, December 21

Hello? Is Anybody Out There?

It has been pretty hectic around the office for the past month and a half and now with Christmas just a few days away, things are starting to slow down a bit.

So what's been happening?

Papa is back in Wellington with Mom and the girls for 3 months. I'm happy for Papa but Madison misses him already. I keep telling him that,"Papa gone plane" but he keeps replying with,"Papa go come back?" to which I say, "Yes son, Papa go come back in 3 months". He looks okay with it but I doubt he knows how long 3 months really is.

Madison is potty trained now, he only wears a diaper when he goes to bed. I reckon he just grew tired of wearing a nappy and now prefers the freedom of not wearing anything at all (unless mommy's around in which case he has to wear some undies).

Big thanks to Nanna in Wellington for Madison's xmas gifts. He has opened them all already (we managed to hold him off for a day but finally gave up trying). He loves the jumping dog and the dump truck. He also polished off all the chocolate in 2 days. He loves chocolate!

Saturday and Sunday were scorchers here so we pulled out the pool and piled in. Madison insisted on having all his new toys in the pool so mommy Maddy and I were surrounded by 7 toys in our little pool in front of our house. Even here in Samoa people must have reckoned we were fobs haha.

I have the camera at home now so we'll be taking some photos soon and post them on his website in the days to come.

Monday, December 6

1-2-3 JUMPA!

Last night we had a lovely BBQ at Mele & Bob Garner's place at Ululoloa. Our Mulligan Golf Club ended the year on a high note with a BBQ by the pool, with enough food and drink to feed a small village.

Madison especially enjoyed the evening, spending most of his time in the pool. He clung to daddy at first but it didn't take him long to want to strike out on his own. He even taught himself to do the dog paddle, insisting that daddy let him go. His favourite thing to do in the pool was stand on the edge, count " one, two, three" and shout, "JUMPA" and then leap into the pool. Daddy was there to catch him of course but the little guy was fearless.

Looks like we're going to have to get a bigger pool soon!

Monday, November 29

Congrats Sachi & Mark!

According to Sachi's website, she and Mark are now officially engaged. Way to go sis! Hey are we invited to the wedding? Can Maddy be the pageboy? Wanna have the wedding here in Apia?

Now Ling has to marry someone named John and we'll have the makings of a Mano'o family 4 Gospels quartet (Matthew, Mark, Madison Luke & John). Somehow I don't think Tolly will be getting a deed poll just so we can have our quartet any day soon.

Where Have We Been?

Okay so you're probably wondering why there's been a distinct lack of posts here. Oops my bad!
We've had our hands full lately, Uncle Sonny came to visit us for a week and Papa returned from NZ. In the meantime, Maddy's schedule was rearranged a few times due to the next door neighbour getting sick so we had to have Aunty Rosa come in for a few days to look after our little hero. He loved seeing his Aunty Rosa again.

Sonny was in town for a week and he stayed at our place. It was good to see him although he was pretty busy with some business he came to take care of. Hopefully we'll get to spend some more time with him on his next trip.

Papa is back from NZ. Maddy was a little bit apprehensive when he saw Papa for the first time in 2 weeks but today he couldn't wait to go see Papa. He even smiled and waved us off when we dropped him off this morning. I'm glad he enjoys his time with his grandfather.

Madison is talking a whole lot more now and with the extra talk comes the added attitude. He has a funny "matter of fact" way of talking, for example:

Daddy: Son, go take your rubbish to the kitchen please.

Madison: No, daddy do it.

Daddy: MADISON, please go take your rubbish to the kitchen NOW.

Madison: No, me watch teevee.

Daddy: *sigh* Son, you better go take your rubbish to the kitchen now before
I get up.

Madison: *ignores Daddy*

Daddy: *gets up*

Madison: *runs to the kitchen before Daddy can catch him*

Wednesday, November 17

Where To From Here?

It's good to have my family back. Madison is happy to be home again and the house is looking like a home again now that Rachel is back in charge. The fridge has food in it now, the house is a lot cleaner and my clothes actually smell nice again.

With Papa in NZ, we've had to make a few changes to Maddy's daily routine. The next door neighbours have been nice enough to help us out by looking after Maddy while Papa is in NZ. Maddy likes playing with his best friend Teresa but he doesn't like it when mommy and daddy leave in the morning. He moans and whimpers and struggles to come with us when we leave for work in the morning.

I tell you, nothing hurts more than having to leave your son behind and he's crying because he wants to come with you and looks hurt because you're not taking him with you. Rachel and I have had to do that ever since Papa went to NZ.

It's a dilemma. Should we become a one income family so one of us is with Madison during the day? The upside would include being there to potty train him, read books with him and teach him new things. The downside would be that we'd have less money and would probably have to move back to Lalovaea or some place cheaper. Rachel enjoys her new career with DBS too so she'd have to give up a job that she enjoys.

I remember having my mom around 24/7 during my childhood. There's no substitute for a mothers love and care, I don't care how good a babysitter is. What would I have done without my mom? I sometimes wonder if we're hampering Madison's development by leaving him with others while we're at work. He's a very bright child, he continually surprises us with the things he picks up and it's disheartening to think that he spends the majority of his waking time with people other than his parents.

I think Madison deserves better than that. The blame is on me for not earning enough money to support my family on my own and that shortcoming weighs heavily on my mind.

The time for action is now, this isn't a problem that I can wait 2 years to solve. But what should we do? I wonder if all parents go through this.

Wednesday, November 10

Papa In NZ

I took Papa to the airport last night. He's on his way to NZ for a couple of weeks. It was a nice drive out there last night with the exception being that his flight was delayed for 2 hours.

Madison will be staying with the next door neighbours over the next few weeks while Papa is away. Without Papa around, it's a challenge to find people we can trust to look after the li'l guy while we're at work during the day.

One of these days we'll be a one income family and these kind of problems will cease to exist. One of these days :)

Monday, November 8

Home Again

Madison and Rachel arrived safely home on Saturday night. It's good to have them back. Madison was a bit shy at first (or jetlagged) but the following morning he was back to his old self.

He was very happy to see Papa again and his friend from next door, Teresa.

Now that my family is back, I'm hoping that life will resume some form of normalcy and we can get back to doing what we did before they left.

The house is a home again. Thank goodness for that!

Tuesday, November 2

Four More Days

Only four more days before father and son are reunited. I can't wait! I miss my boy so much. I keep checking the Kokonut's website for pictures of his trip but nothing so far.

Everytime I call him and his mommy up on the phone he keeps saying, "Me coming, me coming" and "Daddy coming?" It's enough to make a grown man cry.

Friday, October 29

My Boy is Growing Fast

That's a photo taken with Aunty Sachi's fancy cell phone a few days ago of our Madison talking on the cell phone.

Looks like he's transferring stocks and bonds on Wall Street!

I love this photo.

Tuesday, October 26

Neat Little Feature

Next time you visit Madison's website, bookmark it and then reopen the browser, go back to his website and see if you can see a little Samoan flag in both the address bar and favourites menu.

Monday, October 25

A Week Without Maddy

This last week has just dragged by, time seems to have slowed down to a crawl without my family around. It's no fun waking to an empty quiet house only to go to work and sit in my office by myself for 10 hours a day. Then I get to go home to that same empty house at the end of the day.

I guess I've been spoilt rotten by having Maddy and my wife around. I'm looking forward to seeing them again.

I spent Saturday on the golf course with our Mulligan Club. We played the Fisheries Department again and yes, you guessed it, we lost again. According to my calculations, we've played them 5 times now and won only once. But hey, at least I drove the first green (a par 4) which was the one and only highlight of my round.

Hope everyone has a nice week.

Friday, October 22

My Boy Misses Me

I called Maddy and his mommy again last night. They are now in Wanganui visiting Grandma & Grandpa Ponini. After a long train ride from Auckland they arrived safely and were happy to be with family again.

Madison was very happy to hear his daddys voice on the phone and I can tell he misses his daddy because all he was saying was "Go Daddy" which is Madison-speak for I want to go to my daddy.

I'm happy for Maddy to be seeing his family in NZ but I want my boy back. I miss him just as much as he misses me.

Monday, October 18

I Miss My Boy

Madison and his mommy are in NZ now. He was so excited to go on an airplane, I wonder how he fared. I miss my wife and son, the house is too quiet, I miss the sound of little feet running all over the place.

Friday, October 15

Last Post Before Takeoff

OK this will be the last post before Maddy and Mommy takeoff for NZ. Anyone over there need anything from here?

How much is that baby in the window?

Rachel told me yesterday that a woman came by her work looking to sell her 7 month old son for $200 bucks. Can you believe that? Even worse, someone took her up on the offer and bought the baby!

I find this outrageous for a number of reasons (a) how can this be happening in Samoa? (b) if you're going to sell a child, isn't a child worth more than a measly $200? (c) why isn't this woman in jail or a mental institute?

Perhaps the child will be better off in the hands of someone who wants it. The birth mother (if that's who she was) didn't want the child so who knows what she might have done with it.

I'm disgusted by people who can put a price on their children. No amount of money in the world could separate me from my son!

You Asked For It, Now You Got It

It's been raining heavily for 2 days straight now. We've been needing this rain for so long now and now that it's here, it looks like we've got too much of it. The rivers are swollen, low lying areas are flooded and while the taps are running, it resembles koko samoa more than water.

The plus side is, the water isn't being rationed anymore. I'm not complaining; having water beats not having water!

Mommy and Maddy are getting prepared for their trip. The suitcases are out and the ride to the airport has been arranged with Papa. I'm happy for them but at the same time I'm gonna be all by my lonesome for 3 weeks and I'm not looking forward to that!

Tuesday, October 12

Lovely Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we just had. It was the Lotu-a-Tamaiti holiday so we had a nice long weekend to relax and have some quality time together as a family. The water wasn't on on Saturday but sure enough it came on just in time for White Sunday and wouldn't you know it, we filled up Maddy's pool and had a great time.

Maddy's pool doubles as a temporary water storage tank, so for all you critics out there that think that we were wasting water during a drought, we weren't, we were storing water for the next dry spell (yeah right).

Madison spent Saturday morning at church where they had a special children's program. He came home with a nice aluminum foil hat that he was so proud of and wouldn't take off. That evening we bought a couple of dvds (our collection is now at a whopping 82 dvds oka) and had a video night at home.

Sunday was good, we feasted on some nice food from Michelle's Handy Stopper of Matautu-uta (real nice food there on Sundays) and took 3 swims throughout the day; each time we had to drag Madison out of the pool kicking and screaming. The boy is a fish!

Monday was another relaxing day, I spent the afternoon at golf, while mommy was at home relaxing and Maddy off playing with the next door neighbors. None of us wanted to resume the weekly routine today. What did you get up to last weekend?

Friday, October 8

Plans for the Weekend

So what's in store for the weekend? This weekend is going to be a long weekend due to White Sunday or Lotu-a-Tamaiti. Since I'm also employed by a US Government agency, it doubles as Columbus Day too. So we all have next Monday off.

I'm thinking we will be pulling out the swimming pool this weekend. Maddy loves his new pool and so do I! After that, I have golf on Monday with our Mulligan Club. It should be fun.

About a week from now Maddy and his mommy will be in NZ, so I'm going to spend as much time with them as I can before they go.

Thursday, October 7


So what do you people in NZ have planned for Madison when he gets there? I hope he's not going to be dragged all over the place while you girls are shopping! Us boys hate shopping and my son is no exception :)

Wednesday, October 6

Constant Changes

Madison is constantly changing, not only in appearance but in behaviour too. Yesterday he was dropped off by Papa and he didn't want to stay home. He was crying for 20 minutes after Papa left because he wanted to go with Papa. That's a new one. Normally he loves coming home and is very happy to see his mommy and daddy. We couldn't figure that one out.

Then this morning when we dropped him off, instead of being happy to see Papa, he refused to get out of the car.

He's becoming quite the talkative young man, he can repeat almost anything he hears. Yep, we've got to start watching what we say around him.

I wonder what he's going to learn while he's in New Zealand? Hopefully his aunties, uncles and grandparents don't spoil him TOO much.

Monday, October 4

Friday, October 1

If You're Wondering...

Just in case you're wondering why some of the photos on his blog aren't showing, I think the free web host I was using has gone under. I've found a new free image host so let's hope this one lasts a li'l longer than the last one.

Spending the Day With Daddy

I took a day of sick leave on Wednesday to look after Madison. Papa had a meeting and Rachel had an all day training event so it was my turn to play hooky and spend the day with my son.

We had fun watching movies, eating junk food and making a big mess of the house. If there was running water at the house we would have been outside with the hose but the SWA made sure we didn't get the chance.

Maddy fell off a chair yesterday and hit his head right between his eyes. SO now he has a swollen brow which makes him look like the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. Boys will be boys I guess.

I'm taking the camera home with me today so we can take photos for his 26th month photos. I'll be posting them on Monday.

Monday, September 27

Not Too Long To Go Now

Boy do we ever need some rain. Everything around town is brown and dusty, the grass is dying and the heat is something else. The water rationing continues, still as irregular as ever so whenever the water comes on there's a mad rush to flush the toilet, do the dishes, laundry and have showers.

Madison is growing up right before our eyes. I'm glad he's going to NZ with his mommy in a few weeks because we're seeing the last few months of him being a "baby" and I'd love for his families in NZ to see him while he's still soooo adorable and cute.

I had a nice conversation with him in the car the other day about his upcoming trip. I said to him, "Son, you and mommy will be going on the plane soon". He replied, "Daddy stay home? and I said, "Yeah, daddy stay home, mommy and Madison go plane". He then said, "Papa stay home?" and I said, "Yeah Papa and daddy stay home". I found it quite amazing that he could grasp the concept of going away and understand that I wasn't coming.

My boy is growing up.

Friday, September 24

Chatting With My Son

Madison is becoming quite the conversationalist. His vocabulary is limited but the innovative way he strings words together to convey what he wants to say never fails to make us smile. The more he talks the more he tries to boss us around.

It's so much fun chatting with him, I even think he lies on purpose sometimes when he knows that telling the truth will mean that he has to do something he doesn't want to do.

If he doesn't want to have a bath and we ask him if he's had a bath already, he replies straight-faced, "Uma bath!" and then runs away. Most of the time he dislikes having to go through the inconvenience of having his nappy changed, so when we ask him, "Have you done poopoo?", he looks you in the eye and says, "NO" even though it's obvious that he has.

At 2 years old, my son is already as devious as his daddy; and if I wasn't his daddy I'd find it hilarious. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 22

Two or Three?

There's no doubt Rachel and Madison are going to NZ next month. The only question is whether they should go for 2 or 3 weeks. Two weeks is a long time but when it gets divided up between sisters, brothers, parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents and friends, it really doesn't allow much time with everyone. And when you're expending a bit of money to make the trip happen in the first place, you wanna make sure you get your moneys worth.

The next trip to NZ could well be 2 years away, so what do you think we should do?

Tuesday, September 21

Yay for Water!

We finally have water at the house. There must have been a few complaints laid with the water authority because there was a piece about our plight on the evening news. Something about the EPC using the water for power generation and not sharing it with the SWA; which I find to be absolutely ridiculous.

So now we have water from 12 midday to 12 midnight. It's not much but it's a start!

Friday, September 17

Travel Arrangements

Flight arrangements:
Depart Sun 17 Oct Apia 3.5am Stop over in Tonga
Arrive Mon 18 Oct Auckland 8.30am

Depart Sun 31 Oct Auckland 5.20pm
Arrive Sat 30 Oct Apia 9.00pm.

Arrangements (still to be finalised):
Stay in Auckland for three days 18-20 Oct with Joanne, Junior and Family ;Mum and Dad to pick us up from Auckland, and stay with them in Wanganui for two nights 21-22 Oct; Drive down to Palmerston North to visit my brother Poko, Trish and Family (Day visit or overnight stay 23rd Oct 04)

Was thinking of taking the train from Palmerston North to Wellington since Madison hasn't been on a train before. Depending on availability of bookings on the train, we could be down in Wellington by 24th Oct, Sunday.

Would this be ok with Batgran, Aunty Sachi and Aunty Lagi?- we will get to spend at least 6 days with you all and then take a return flight to Auckland for our departure back home to Samoa on Sunday 31st.

What do you think of these plans?

Tuesday, September 14

Hold The Phone

Maybe Madison isn't 100% yet after all. He's still got a slight temperature and is very moody. We're not sure if it's sunstroke from mommy's all-day-in-the-sun company sports day last Saturday or whether it's a lingering thing from his last illness. Either way, he's still grumpy and quiet at times which means he's not feeling 100%.

If he's not better by tomorrow, we'll go see the doc again.

Monday, September 13

Lingering Annoyances

Living in a third-world country has it's ups and downs. Lately, it's been mostly downs as the continuing water shortage is rapidly turning into a water crisis. Well, that's what it seems like to us since our water has been on for a grand total of 4 hours over the last 4 days. It wouldn't be so bad if we knew when the water would be on but the geniuses at the Samoa Water Authority like to turn it on and off whenever they please. One night they turned it on sometime after 1am and turned it off before 6am. How do I know that? I woke up and the toilet tank was full, when it was empty when I went to sleep.

Madison is feeling a lot better thanks to mommy's care. He has been a little grumpy though, especially if he doesn't get his way. He does this little sulk and pout when he is told he can't do something. He also doesn't want to go to Papa's every morning, so he pouts as we drive away. I hope he grows out of it.

Thursday, September 9

Happy Birthday Aunty Sachi!

This is the time of year when it seems everyone is having a birthday all at the same time! Today is Aunty Sachi's birthday! Happy birthday sis, hope you have a good one!

Madison was diagnosed with tonsilitis and a strep throat yesterday. He was given antibiotics and panadol to help him get rid of it but he's not the kind of kid that likes taking medicine. We have to force him to take it. Poor lil guy.

Wednesday, September 8

No Good

That's what Madison says when he doesn't like something. When we're watching a video that he considers scary, he says, "Daddy, no good" while pointing at the tv. I don't know where he got that from but it's amazing how much he picks up and how quickly.

Today he's at home with mommy because he had a temperature yesterday. I think his fever has broken but mommy is staying home just to make sure.

Saturday, September 4

You Gotta Love Working For The Government

This morning Rachel had to go to work at 6am because her office (Development Bank of Samoa) is part of the government clean up of the town area in preparation for the Teuila Festival.

Where else in the world does the government make their public servants work on a weekend for free picking up rubbish? Thank goodness I don't work for the Samoan government!

Friday, September 3

Water Shortage

We've been going through a rather extended dry spell here in Samoa. It hasn't rained heavily or for a sustained period of time in ages. That's normally good news for golfers but not good when it comes to maintaining a regular supply of water.

For the past 2 weeks, our water has been on and off. The Samoa Water Authority is supposedly rationing the water but they do so in such an erratic manner that it's almost impossible to figure out when the water is going to be on and for how long.

When it does come on, there's a mad rush to flush the toilet, take a shower and do the dishes, laundry etc. I hope it rains soon, but just not on Sundays when I play golf!

Thursday, September 2

All Systems Are Go

Well it looks like the October trip is a go. Rachel and I have discussed the ins and outs of how we're going to finance the trip and it looks like all systems are go.

We'll keep y'all posted on the dates and when the final itinerary is set we'll let everyone know when Madison and Co will be in town.

Wednesday, September 1

Oh No, Not Him Again!

Yes, that's what the people at our usual video shop must say every time they see Madison stroll through the doors. Madison's newest favourite thing to do while in the video shop is to go around the shelves and remove the " Sorry I'm Out" labels from all the videos.

He even asks me to pass him the ones that are too high for him to reach. And here I was thinking he just wanted to look at the covers! He's so sneaky!

Tuesday, August 31

New Photos Are Up

Madison's 25 month photos are now on his website. Have a look!

Sunday, August 29

Maddy Hits the Beach

Madison is at the beach today with Papa. They left early this morning on a bus with the church group from Lalovaea. Madison was so excited to be riding on a bus!

We've been taking photos of Madison over the weekend so I promise we'll have new photos on his website by tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of a photo we took yesterday!

Wednesday, August 25

Happy Birthday Aunty Ling!

August is just full of birthdays and today is Aunty Ling's! On behalf of Rachel and Maddy, we wish Aunty Ling a very happy birthday and hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 23

Lesson Learnt

Last night we tried to wake Madison up at about 8.30pm so we could go for a car ride to get some groceries and drop off the dvd. The li'l guy refused to wake up so we kept trying until he finally rolled over and sat up. I jokingly said to Rach that I bet he'd be up til 3 in the morning.

Well whaddya know? He and I were up til 3.30am in the morning, playing and watching Monsters Inc a few times. Now I'm falling asleep at my desk, vowing never to do that again.

Wednesday, August 18

Rachel and Madison's Excellent Adventure

Rach and I had a talk last night about the possibility of a trip to NZ in October. We both agreed that it has been almost 2 years since they've been back and that a trip to see the family (on both sides) would be nice.

It's still tentative right now but we're planning for it. Anyone know of any cheap fares around about October?

Tuesday, August 17

Rain and wind batter Wellington

Here is a news story about the bad weather affecting Wellington. It seems pretty bad!

I hope all of our families in Wellington are okay, dry and warm. We'll keep an eye on the weather reports and say an extra prayer for you all.

Olympics in Samoa

Yep, we're getting live coverage of the Olympics here in Samoa. I still can't believe it myself. Not only do we get all the Tri Nations rugby tests live for free, we get to watch the Olympics in Athens throughout the night and mornings too.

I'm betting that we're not the only family that is late for work each morning from too much late tv watching in Samoa right now.

Getting There

I'm feeling a lot better now, not quite 100% but close enough to be back at work. Rachel and Maddy took excellent care of me while I was sick, which as most of you know, is not an easy thing to do.

Maddy has been going strong through the whole week. He loves playing with his many toys and is talking a whole lot more now. His potty training is progressing well, it won't be too much longer until he can rid himself of those annoying nappies.

Friday, August 13

Sicky Daddy

I spent the whole of yesterday at home sick. There must be a flu bug going around because first Rachel got it then me. I'm hoping Maddy won't get the same thing because the sore throat it gives you is excruciating. I'm feeling a lot better today and I'm back at work.

Wednesday, August 11

Interesting Times

Yesterday was an interesting day at work, full of suspense, rumour mongering and suprise endings. We bid goodbye to our director, who left under duress and dubious circumstances. It was quite stressful on us all.

On a brighter note, Madison got a hold of a blue permanent marker and decorated the walls of our garage last night. He loves to scribble on things such as the floor, walls, the car and anything we don't want him to draw on.

Of interest on one of his wall drawings was some scribbles that distinctly look like the numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3. When we asked him what they were he said, "two, tree". Is it possible that he can already write numbers? Hmmm

Monday, August 9

Guess Who's In Town?

The Rock is in Samoa! If you don't know who The Rock is, you're not watching enough WWF. As you know, Samoa loves professional wrestling. Noone here is foolish enough to think that the WWF is all staged & choreographed.

The Rock is staying out at the Sinalei Reef Resort out in Siumu. Funny enough our work is having a conference out there next week so I might be chillin' with the Rock poolside. I know he must be hanging out to hear details about my exciting career as an IT Specialist with the US Peace Corps.

I mean, who wouldn't? Right? Yeah, that's what I thought :)

Happy Birthday Nanna!

Today is Nanna's birthday! I wish we could all fly over to New Zealand to wish Nanna a hapy birthday in person but I guess that's something to plan for next year.

We all hope you have a wonderful birthday Nanna, we all miss you and love you!

Friday, August 6

Mommy Not Feeling Well

Rach is at home today because she's not feeling well with the flu. Maddy is with Papa for the day and I'll be picking him up after work. Hopefully mommy will be feeling a little better by then.

Is Maddy Left Handed?

Rachel and I have noticed that our little Maddy seems to prefer doing things with his left hand. He uses his eating utensils with his left hand, he writes with his left hand and when he swings his new plastic golf clubs, he does so left handed.

When I ask him to "use you your other hand" he does so without complaint but isn't as good with his right hand. I'd prefer him to be right handed because most things these days are made for right handed people (plus I'm right handed, so I'm biased).

What do you think? Should I keep trying to make him right handed or should I just let him be?

Tuesday, August 3

Happy Birthday Papa!

Today is Papa's 61st birthday. Happy birthday Papa! To be completely honest, I didn't realise what the day was until I logged on to my computer at work and by then we had already dropped Maddy off at Lalovaea.

What do you think Papa would like for his birthday? Comments?

Friday, July 30

When Is It Time For School?

Madison loves the drive to Papa's place every morning. He points out "Nana's school" (Samoa College) and "Mommy's school" (NUS) and "Teresa's school" (Vaivase Primary) which are all on the way to Lalovaea.

Just the other night Maddy asked his mommy "Me school?" as if he wanted to know where his school was. I reckon he could manage going to school already. He's fearless when it comes to playing with other kids, he isn't shy and is very bright for a 2 year old. The problem is, he isn't potty trained yet.

I was wondering, when is it time for a kid to go to school? Maybe Aunty Ling can answer that one.

Dude, Where's My Car?

Okay it's been 2 hours now and I'm still waiting for dad to come back with my car. Dude, where's my car? He offered to take it to the mechanic this morning to have the engine looked at.

I've been calling the house at Lalovaea for over 2 hours now and no answer. Where is Papa and Maddy?

Thursday, July 29

Lucky Madison

We're all settling back into something resembling normality now that Madison's birthday has come and gone. The party was great, 19 out of 20 kids showed up and had fun, eating Happy Meals, cake and playing on the playground set.

It wouldn't be a party without a mess and the kids made sure there was plenty of that. Spilled food, drinks and discarded party hats were all over the place. I felt kinda sorry for the cleanup staff of McDees after we left.

Madison has a boatload of new toys to play with. All of his meaalofas were expensive toys, he's so spoilt! He got new clothes, airplanes, helicopters, guns, waterguns, golf sets, spiderman colouring books, crayons, lego sets, trucks, cars and a lot more. In typical Madison style, he needs to play with ALL of his toys everyday so you can probably imagine the kind of mess that he makes everyday now. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 27

Photos Now Available

Madison's photos from last nights birthday party are now on his website. Check them out and leave a comment here (if you like).

Maddy's Birthday

Madison's birthday party was a success. I'm putting together his photos and should have some photos on his website in a few hours. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 26

Happy Birthday Son!

The day we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. Rachel is taking a half day today to get the final preparations squared away. I've got the camera ready to video tape the whole thing. It's going to be fun!

I'll post photos of the party on his website tomorrow.

Friday, July 23

3 More Days

I think I'm more excited about Maddy's 2nd birthday than he is. Only 3 days left to go before this party breaks the bank. I've got the camera ready to go, I'm hoping to videotape the party and transfer it to video tape for Maddy's aiga in NZ to watch.

Tuesday, July 20


What awesome gifts Maddy got from his Nanna, Aunty Sachi and Aunty Lagi.  Maddy found his present box again, and opened ALL the presents this time, finding an awesome red t-shirt with a big picture of SPIDERMAN, a Spiderman rugby ball, 2 x spiderman underpants, 2 x dinosaur singlets, 2 x colouring book set of Lion King and Finding Neemo, 4 x diggers and helicoptor, and 1 x large pkt of crayons - WOOHOO what a blast Mummy and Daddy had with Madison last night colouring in the pictures.  Boy did we have fun (hehe).

Maddy wanted to take his toys next door to show Tita (Teresa) but Mummy wouldn't let him because everytime he takes his toys with him to show his friend, they never come back.  Mummy has to go over and get them all everytime!!

Thank you so much for the awesome pressies - what a lucky boy he is!

Monday, July 19

Madison's Many Gifts

The pressies continue to pour in for our little Madison. He has managed to open up 3 or 4 of his pressies from Nanna and his aunties in New Zealand, which include a mini dumptruck, tow truck and helicopter as well as a Spiderman football. Thank you for all the meaalofa's!
He brought a tear to my eye last night when he threw me the ball and I said "catch!" and he held out his hands and caught the ball when I threw it to him. You should have seen the look of delight on his face when he realised that he actually caught it! It was a gem. He seems to be growing up so fast, that before long he's going to think that doing things with his parents isn't cool anymore and I'd better treasure each of these special moments as they come along.

Friday, July 16

10 More Days

Madison can't wait 'til his birthday to open his pressies. He keeps finding his box from Nanna and opens his presents. So far he has opened 3 of his pressies before we can stop him. He's so sneaky.

Ten more days 'til his birthday and the invites have all been sent. Believe it or not but we're expecting 20 kids *gasp* yes, 20 kids!

Thursday, July 15

Our Little Chatterbox

Madison really enjoys talking now. It's almost as if it's a relief for him to be able to communicate verbally now instead of being constantly misunderstood by others when he grunts and gesticulates. Now he can say words and get his point accross.

Of course it takes a little bit of deciphering by mommy and daddy but he is very imaginitive with the words he does know.

Sometimes he is in such a rush to tell us something that he blurts out gibberish at a million miles an hour, with a few recognised words sprinkled in. We have to ask him, "Pardon?" and he'll try and say it again. It's like a new toy with him, he's experimenting with talking and is loving it.

Monday, July 12

New Photos Now Available

I've just posted Maddy's 23 month photos to his website. Check 'em out!

Saturday, July 10

Silly Daddy

I was watching Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban on dvd the other night with Maddy. Never did it occur to me that he knew what he was watching. That is until he curled into a little ball and started crying.

He was scared.

Oka, I turned it off immediately. Silly daddy! I didn't think he understood what was going on but he was actually scared of the monsters he saw on the tv screen. No more scary movies for our household, that's for sure.

On a brighter note, we went to see Spiderman 2 at the movies and he loved it. He went to church with Papa this morning and when we picked him up afterwards he was playing in the playground with the other kids. We had to drag him kicking and screaming to the car because the li'l tyke didn't want to stop playing.

Friday, July 9

Rough Boy

Maddy plays rough. He loves running into things, throwing things and hitting things (people too!). You should see him when he doesn't get his way. Can you say tantrum?

Funny thing is, I'd prefer him to be rough than to be an over sensitive crybaby who starts bawling at the slightest knock. A few of his friends are like that and whenever they start crying (normally after he hits them) he gets this puzzled look on his face as if to say, "So what's wrong with you then? Sheesh!"

Maddy's motto: Get hard or begone.
Maddy's Birthday Party

Madison's 2nd birthday party is set for the 26th of this month at McDonald's. After much to-ing and fro-ing, we've finally decided to have it on the day instead of having it on the weekend before or the weekend after.

The invitation list has grown to 16 kids. Hopefully we can fit them all in! I'll make sure we take lots of photos and post them on the website for all to see.

Saturday, July 3

Self Sacrifice

Until last night I don't think I really knew the true meaning of self sacrifice. All parents must go through the same things I have been going through with Madison and it makes me appreciate how much our own parents gave up on account of us, their kids.

We all had a rough night last night. Rach and I had a shouting match and it must have scared poor li'l Maddy because he wouldn't go to sleep at all. I ended up staying up all night, without a wink of sleep, trying to comfort him and rock him to sleep on my shoulder.

No matter how tired I was, he wouldn't let me get any rest - he was not in a good mood and the sun came up and he and I were still seeing who could outlast the other.

I think it's human nature to just want to lose your temper but as a parent, you realise that it's not the kids fault and you just have to put the good of your child first, no matter how you feel, no matter how important something may seem to you at the time.

That to me is the true meaning of self sacrifice. Gee, 35 years old and I finally get it.

Thursday, July 1

Model Citizen

Madison has been a very good boy lately. He wakes up in the morning, has his bottle of juice and gets dressed for Papa's place. In the car on the way there, he names everything he sees, including Nana's school, cars, buses, trees, diggers, boys, dogs and airplanes.

He's going to be talking in complete sentences soon, he loves stringing 2 -3 words together at a time and is so proud of himself.

So are we!

Thursday, June 24

It's Booked and You're Invited

Rachel has booked McDonald's as the venue for Madison's 2nd birthday party. It's to be held on the 31st of next month and you're all invited. She's also ordered a teddy bear shaped cake and I'm going to make some invitations for all of his friends.

We're paying for all the kid's meals but if you're an adult you're gonna have to pay your own way. Oi kalofae!
Two At a Time

Madison is starting to string together 2 words at a time on a more consistent basis. You can see him really try and communicate with words now and it's wonderful to hear him try and use the limited amount of words to communicate with people around him. He's so imaginative!

Some of his 2-word sentences include "daddy come", "love you", "Nana school" (whenever we drive by Samoa College, he points at the school and says this to signify our neighbour Nana's school, which he can tell by the colour of their uniforms) and "go there".

It's so much fun watching him learn new things everyday.

Saturday, June 19

All's Well

Madison is feeling much better now. We went to the doctor on Friday and he said that he has a slight flu and a probable irritation in the throat that caused him to regurgitate his food.

You couldn't tell he was sick by the way he was playing around.

Mommy did a good job of looking after the li'l guy, and now he's back to his boisterous self again.

Friday, June 18

Not a Good Day

Madison is not feeling well today. We were all ready to go to work this morning and drop Maddy off at Papa's place when Maddy started to throw up. We thought it was just bad milk but when we got to Lynn's Supermarket in Motootua, he threw up again. So it was back home again and mommy decided to take the day off to keep an eye on him.

Poor li'l guy, I hope he feels better soon.

Wednesday, June 16

Where's Mommy?

Rachel will be working from 8am to 10pm for the next 2 weeks including Saturdays. Something about her work needing to meet a deadline. All I know is that Maddy won't be seeing much of his mommy for quite awhile and I won't be seing much of my wife either.

That plain sucks.

I'm starting to wonder if her job is worth the trouble, especially when Madison asks me, "where's mommy?" when it's his bedtime and he needs his mommy. Being put to bed by daddy just ain't the same for the little guy.

Tuesday, June 15

New Photos Added

Maddy's new 22 month photos have been added to his website today.

A big thanks to those of you who visit and comment on Madison's website on a regular basis. Most recently, Tai and Sachi have left comments on his guestbook and blog, thanks you two!

Tai, how is Sarona doing? Please send her our regards and tell her we miss her and hope she comes back soon.

Saturday, June 12

Madison, Church and the new TV

Maddy is at church with Papa this morning. Papa came by to pick him up and as soon as he saw Papa's car pull up he tore off through the door and climbed into the car. I gave dad his day bag and told Maddy to open the window so he could kisi his daddy and believe it or not, Maddy hit the window button and rolled the window down all by himself.

We got a new TV yesterday as our old one kicked the bucket. Maddy loves it since it's bigger than the old one.

Friday, June 11

Maddy Goes Walkabout

Two days ago, Madison went walkabout on Papa. Papa was inside while Maddy was playing in the front yard at Lalovaea. He'd call out to Madison every now and then to make sure he was okay and Madison would grunt back.

After the 3rd call or so, Madison didn't respond so Papa went out to investigate. Papa called out to him but nothing. He looked next door, no Maddy. He went across the road, still no Maddy. So, Papa starting to get a little worried, starts off down the road calling out for him when he sees a pair of girls walking hand in hand with our lil monster coming back towards him.

The girls tell Papa that they found him at the main road by the shop and recognizing him, thought they'd bring him back home.

Well that's what Papa told me, but the next day when we dropped him off, the story changed a bit. Apparently the 2 girls saw him playing by himself out in the yard and decided to take him for a walk to the shop and back.

Wednesday, June 9

Daddy Can I Drive?

Madison loves riding in the car. Whenever we go out for a drive, he has a routine. He gets behind the steering wheel and turns the wheel a couple of times, turns on the hazard lights and then turns on the fan. Once the car gets going, he yells out "CLEAR!" whenever we get to an intersection. He adjusts the mirror too so that he can get a good look at himself while he's in the car.

Tonight mommy is working overtime again so daddy will be picking him up after work. Maybe I'll let him drive home?

Tuesday, June 8

Need Your Feedback

I don't update Maddy's daily journal as often as I'd like because there are days when nothing really newsworthy happens. However, I could put a little something here everyday if you all didn't mind short updates instead of entire essays at a time. What say you?

Friday, May 28

Looooong Weekend

I've always believed that Samoa has too many holidays. We have holidays when important people die, we have holidays on Saturdays, we have holidays whenever (it seems) the government feels like it. Why am I complaining about it? While the time off is nice, it's very disruptive when it comes to work.

Take for example the upcoming Independence Day holiday. On all of the official government documentation, Tuesday, 1st June 2004 was supposed to be the only holiday. Now I hear that the cabinet has approved the Monday before Independence and half of the Wednesday after it to be public holidays as well. Huh?

So now we have a 5 day long weekend ahead (with 1 days notice), we're to return to work next Thursday for a 2 day week. Why didn't the geniuses in the Cabinet declare Thurday and Friday off as well while they were at it?

Only in Samoa.

Tuesday, May 25

Gall Stone Scare

Rachel had a scan at MedCen Hospital today for a scan to check on some pain she was experiencing in her chest. The scan revealed multiple gall stones. Ouch!

I did a little research on the Net about gall stones and their treatment and here's what I found.

Surgery to remove the gallbladder is the most common way to treat symptomatic gallstones. (Asymptomatic gallstones usually do not need treatment.)Nonsurgical approaches are used only in special situations such as when a patient's condition prevents using an anesthetic and only for cholesterol stones. Stones recur after nonsurgical treatment about half the time.

From what I've read so far, it would seem that gall stones are very common. Most of us have them but they only become evident when they cause blockages within the digestive tract.

I'll have more info on Rachel's condition tonight, when the painkillers wear off. Wish us luck!

Monday, May 24

Daddy Can I Crash Here Tonight?

For some reason, Madison didn't want to sleep with Mommy out in the living room last night, like he always does. Maybe he was upset with mommy or maybe he just wanted a change of scenery but he suprised us both last night when he refused to sleep in his bed and instead got into my bed, curled up into a ball and went to sleep.

So, of course since I'm not used to sleeping with Maddy, I couldn't get to sleep at all for fear I'd roll over and suffocate him or something. So at 2.30am I gave up and took him back to his bed. He didn't notice a thing.

Friday, May 21

What You're Missing Out On

For those of you who don't have the pleasure of watching Madison grow up on a day-to-day basis, here are a few of the funny things that Maddy does that you're missing out on:

When Madison wakes up, the first thing he does is sit up, smile and wave at you.

When I pick him up from Papa's place after work, I can hear him screaming with delight before I even pull into the drive. (yes, our car squeaks and makes that much noise)

Madison can open the dvd player, remove the dvd, place a new dvd in there and then close the drive all by himself. When he doesn't want to watch a certain dvd, he'll go take it out and put his own movie on. (much to the chagrin of his parents)

When asked to close a door in the house, he'll go close ALL the doors. Let me rephrase that, he SLAMS all the doors.

Madison will drop whatever he's doing for a ride in the car unless he's watching Lion King at the time.

Madison picked up the phone last night and said "Mommy!", which I took to mean that he wanted me to call his mommy up at work. When I did, Maddy proceeded to chat to his mom on the phone for the next 5 minutes.

Tuesday, May 18

Maddy & Daddy

The last couple of weeks have been Maddy and Daddy time. Mommy has been either at work late doing overtime or at school. Either way, the earliest mommy will get home is around 8pm so Daddy and Maddy have been spending lots of time together on our own.

It's been fun spending time alone with my son. He doesn't "act" up when we're on our own. He saves all that for when his mom is around. I think it's funny, mommy doesn't!

I've moved this blog back to and I've added a Haloscan comments feature which should be a heck of a lot easier to comment with on Maddy's posts. You don't need to sign up for anything; all you do is enter your name and whatever you want to post and voila! it's all done.
Maddy's Blog Returns to

Welcome back to Maddy's blog. I've decided to move it back here because it looks better and since noone seems to be using the comments feature on the Xanga site, I didn't think anyone would mind anyways.

Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata, ain't no passin' craze. It means no worries, for the rest of your days. Hakuna Matata