Thursday, December 25, 2008

December Whirlwind, Part I

Merry Christmas, Everybody! Let's catch up.

We had the best visit ever with my parents. SUCH a perfect trip and I was really sad to see them go but so grateful for the time we spent. Here are some pictures from our travels. I wanted to post them in order of the trip, but they got kind of messed up so they're in all kinds of order.

How cute are my parents?

Dad got pulled from the crowd to participate in a street show during our last night in Queenstown. He did a good job of helping to hold up the pole so this guy didn't fall on his face while juggling fire torches. Go Dad!

Mom & our good friend Dot with their matching thumb injuries. There's a story there, but you will have to ask them about it. Dottie is visiting us now, but we'll get to that later.

View of Queenstown from the gondola.

Dad & Chris on our boat in Milford Sound. Despite the rainy weather Mom & Dad agreed this was their favorite part of our travels.


Me & Dad. Please ignore my hair. Thanks.


More pretty!

The four of us at Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula. One of the nicest beaches I've seen.

More Cathedral Cove.

On the Coromandel.

Devil's Bath at the Wai-o-tapu geothermal wonderland. This place made me wish I'd paid more attention in geology class.

Champagne Pool at Wai-o-tapu.

In short, good times.

We dropped mom & dad off at the airport in Queenstown on Monday and met up with Dot, who had already been traveling for two weeks on the North Island. The three of us are now back in Dunedin for a very low-key and rather lazy Christmas celebration before heading out again for another week of travels with Dot. That's how we roll.

I hope that wherever you are, you are having a beautiful and peaceful holiday! Merry Christmas!

Wee One, 21 Weeks

You want belly pictures, you get belly pictures. Here's the last one, taken at 21 weeks in our hotel last week:

In other Wee One news, s/he is now kicking regularly and if you're patient you can actually feel him or her when you put your hand on my stomach. Chris has gotten a number of kicks and I was glad mom & dad got to feel the baby move while they were visiting.

We also know the baby's sex, which is exciting and makes him/her a little easier to imagine. So far we've been able to keep it secret from the Moms, who do not want to know. I thought for sure I'd slip up and spill the beans when spending two weeks with my mom, but amazingly we managed to keep her guessing for now.

We have some very cute new ultrasound pictures but in all of the travel hoopla (see "December Whirlwind, Part I") we haven't yet gotten them scanned. S/he's a cute kid. I'm rather in awe.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where to start?

Okay, kids, we've got a lot of ground to cover. So pay attention.

1) Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch. Paid a small fortune for two small turkeys but found it was well worth it as dinner was TASTY and I've been enjoying leftovers all week. As per usual, the hubby fried them up in his giant deep fryer. (Yes, we moved the giant turkey fryer to New Zealand. As I recall, it was the source of much debate.) As per usual, it was a hit. I think the Kiwis were a little suspicious about the concept of fried turkey -- one guest admitted she was mortified when she showed up and the turkey was uncooked on the counter and she figured she'd be at our house all night. But I think we've made a few converts.

2) Guests! Travel! Christmas! New Years! Excitement! Right now we are gearing up for a number of fun visitors, and December is shaping up to be quite the eventful month. It starts with the arrival of my darling parents on Wednesday, followed by our darling friend Dot on the 22nd, followed by a visit from our darling soon-to-be newlywed friends Kevin and Nadine. I'll spare you the whole guest schedule and itinerary, but there will be lots of adventure and moving around all December. So I might not be checking in as much this month but I promise there will be complete reports with pictures. Be patient.

3) The Wee One! I had been fretting all last week that I was approaching 18 weeks and hadn't felt the baby move, and then whaddya know, I finally got some little flutters last Friday. (Which, with the time change, happened to also be my actual birthday and American Thanksgiving. Cool, no?) Since then there has been lots of fluttering and a few honest-to-goodness jabs. S/he's a feisty one.

Next ultrasound is Monday so hopefully I'll get some new pictures to post.

4) Chocolate Fish! I knew I had forgotten something important on my list of NZ culinary quirks, and today I realized what I was. Chocolate fish. Which are fish-shaped marshmellows covered in chocolate, and are not nearly as gross as the name implies. Usually they are served as a side to hot chocolate. So when you come to visit NZ and you order hot chocolate and the counter person says, "marshmellows, or fish?" you will not be flabbergasted, as I was. You will say, "Fish, please." And you will look like a pro.