Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh what FUN!

Swinging with Mommy! I think I had more fun than John did, although he was laughing pretty hard :) These are the moments I treasure!

Sunday Market

Sunday morning we drove into Blenheim to go to the Farmers Market. We were expecting a huge market like the one we went to in Auckland, but what we found was a small chic market, but still quite nice.
We stocked up on fresh veggies, homemade red pepper hummus and even had a hot breakfast. For $6 (aprox. US $3) we got a fresh omelet, made with local produce and free range local eggs. Inside was tomatoes, red onion, spinach, and cheese. The best part was the plate and cutlery which was made from potatoes!!!!!!! How cool is that?

New Ones

Thursday at Playcentre John was OBSESSED with the water. I have a lot more photos, but I like this one the best. Picture him IN the pool, that's how we ended the day! Its a good thing I always bring him a few changes of clothes, we learned the first week.

On Sunday we drove into Blenheim for the farmers market and then stopped to get Jeff some new shoes. Unfortunately his brand new KEEN's have fallen apart, we'll see what KEEN has to say about it! Anyways, John loved the shoe store- especially the pretty sparkly shoes! He did have them on, but he had just spotted another pair (pink and white sandals) that he was running for when I got the camera out. He's such a fashion forward kind of guy!

Jeff and John both found shoes on clearance! Yes, Johns are navy and red running shoes with Velcro tabs, he didn't get sparkly or pink. On the way home he took off the new shoes and called PopPop on them! Too bad PopPop couldn't hear him on the shoe phone.

One of Johns new favorite things are his BumBee's. Just in the last few weeks he has become inseparable from his blankets- especially the green one. He calls it BumBee (the other one is blue bumbee) and drags it everywhere! Most children attach themselves to a 'transitional object' early in the first year, but I guess John likes to be a little different!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Forest Fire!

While John was having his nap on Wednesday Jeff and I heard a lot of sirens screaming down the street. We didn't think twice about it, the roads here are really curvy and narrow so we figured there was an accident or something. A weather front was due to pass in the afternoon so when John awoke we decided to pack up and go for a little walk before the rain came. When we got to the end of the street we saw billows of smoke and even some flames on the next hill!
John and I had made a new friend at playgroup that morning, Caleb and his Mom Larissa who live on the next street over from us. We walked up to their house and got them and then the 5 of us went down the road towards the park (and the fire!). We figured we'd be able to let the boys play at the park while we watched the fire- we didn't realize how close to the park it was, they were landing helicopters in the parking lot/launch ramp that is right next to the playground!!!

Needless to say, we didn't go all the way to the playground, we kept the boys in their 'prams' and watched the helicopters pick up buckets of water from the harbor. The boys loved watching all the action!

This picture was taken from the end of the street we live on- that's how close it was to us! Luckily they got it out quickly, no houses were seriously damaged and no people were hurt- the news said it was started accidentally by kids playing with fireworks- lesson learned?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


John is obsessed with trains lately. One of his friends as Playcentre lent us some of his Thomas books and Jeff and John read them this morning. What you can't hear is John saying "PopPop", trains and PopPop are one in the same :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Boy Bed!

As many of you know, John has never really slept in a crib- it really just didn't work with our lifestyle! We travelled with a pack-n-play for awhile, but he began to hate it and screamed whenever he saw it. I decided it wasn't worth the pain and started him sleeping on the floor in a 'nest' the way my Mom did with us when we were little. John slept great in the nest so why mess with it? I figured thats what we would do here in New Zealand, even without the body pillow and other cushy things. Well, it seems that every place we stay has bunk beds, and John has been sleeping on the bottom bunk without a problem! He fell out of bed a few times in the beginning but we put the mattress from the top bunk on the floor as padding and he hasn't fallen out since! It has worked out really well too for naptime, I can do his books and give kisses and then shut him in the room and he can play and read books until he's ready for sleep, he always manages to get into bed (so far!). Our little guy is growing up!

I wrote this post the other day, and today John proved it wrong by falling asleep before making it into bed!

Mr. Cute

A couple recent pictures so you all can get your 'John Fix'.


Mr. Preppy! John is the best dressed child at play group in his playclothes/hand-me-downs. Yesterday we didn't have any play groups so I dressed John in his nicest clothes! I love that he modeled for the camera, the little ham. You can't even tell that he had a fever!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Here are a few photos from our time in New Zealand. We have tons more- I promise we'll get them added someday!

John and Mommy on a bench overlooking Marlborough Sounds- gorgeous!

John the TIGER at Playcentre!

Strong Man hanging!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Zealand!

That is a typical Kiwi greeting, for all of you non-kiwi speakers :)

So here is my long awaited update from half way around the world! As most of you know, we are New Zealand residents, and to gain our permanent returning residency visa we have to spend 184 days per year for the first two years (confused yet?) That's basically one full year within the first two years, and this time was hanging over our heads. So, while in Grand Cayman we did some research for flights and decided to sail back to Florida, store the boat (again) and fly here for awhile just to get some time under our belts.

Our flight was on February 25 out of Tampa, with a plane change in Houston and then a layover in LA. From LA we took the longest flight to Auckland, and then changed planes again for the jump to Christchurch on the South Island. The flight from Tampa departed at 11am, so that meant we had to leave Venice at 8. John was a trooper on the ride up there and through the airport. The Tampa airport has amazing children's play area where John could get out some of his pent up energy, it was a fully padded room with windows to look at the planes- awesome! The ride from Tampa to Houston should have coincided with nap time, but John was too excited to sleep. On the landing his ears were bothering him and he screamed and cried a lot- I think it was the combination of the altitude and being really sleepy. He fell asleep weeping on my lap just before touchdown, and he stayed asleep in my arms until we boarded the next plane! The first plane landed at the same time the next was set to begin boarding, so we gathered up all of our gear and ran through the airport to the next gate- my arms were shaking from holding sleeping John by the time we got there! We were really lucky on the first 2 flights people moved so we could have an extra seat with John, so far it was working out pretty well- but the longest flight was still to come.
We had a few hours to kill in LA, which ended up being good because we had to gather our bags, take a bus to the international terminal and then go through check-in and security again- whew! We had dinner at one of the airport restaurants and then let John play for awhile, he was completely crazy at this point, he didn't take much of a nap and it was already way past his bedtime. Luckily there were a bunch of other young children on the flight so he had some playmates, too bad there wasn't a padded room like in Tampa!
At just under 2 years old, John is still considered an infant by the airlines, which means he is a lap baby on domestic flights and for the international he flew for 10% the adult fare. We didn't know what the 10% was getting us, but we soon found out. On Air New Zealand, they give the families with infants the bulkhead seats, and a small bassinet folds down from the bulkhead for the baby so sleep in! We weren't aware of it, but it is against airline policy for anyone to sleep on the floor, which is what we though we'd end up doing with John. When we got on the plane we immediately folded down the bassinet to try it out, John wasn't thrilled, he was a bit too long for it and was cramped. Oh well. I got myself mentally prepared to hold him on my lap for the 12 hours- the plane was full so there weren't any empty seats for all of us to move, and the people seated in our row refused to move to accommodate us. While we were getting ready for takeoff they dimmed the lights and John fell asleep right away- didn't even finish his milk that I had ready for him! When we got to altitude we unfolded the bassinet and Jeff made it cozy with John's blankies and I slipped him into it- he stayed asleep, HOORAY! Jeff and I pulled out our personal TV's and started catching up on all of the movies we have missed over the last 2 years. Dinner was served, people walked passed constantly looking in at the sleeping little blond baby (why did they have to get so close?). John STAYED ASLEEP!!!! He slept 9 of the 12 hour flight, woke up just in time for breakfast. Our little champion! We landed in Auckland and let him run around while we waited for our connection to Christchurch. We were moved to the from of the security line (we didn't clear Customs until Christchurch) and again, he had a few other children to play with in the terminal. The flight to Christchurch was uneventful, John ate a muffin (they still have free food on flights over here!) and looked out the window at the mountains. We landed in Christchurch and again got to skip ahead in line- I guess it pays to travel with children!

I was really nervous about flying with John, he is such a busy boy. But as you now know, everything turned out great! Now we have the flight home in May to think about.....