1) The trip. What a fun, fun, fun trip to North America we had. (A million years ago now!) Five weeks of amazing times with Chris's family in Vancouver, my family in Texas, and dear friends in Georgia. Could not have been happier to see everyone. Zach was an angel baby on every plane ride and aside from a couple of rough jet-lagged nights he was a trooper.
Very strange ... I thought it would feel odd to be back in North America but it honestly felt like we'd never left. And then when we came back to New Zealand it felt like we'd never left here, either. Hard to explain.
2) Work. I returned to work 2 1/2 days per week. Chris is staying home with Zach two half-days per week, which leaves the boy at a very nice day care 12 hours per week (Three four-hour days.) I am generally fine with this. It's a nice place and the women there are lovely. He has smiles for his teacher when I drop him off and he looks perfectly content when I go to pick him up. It's good having two incomes and most days I find it refreshing to use non-mommy parts of my brain for a while. But other moments I feel like a terrible mother leaving him and I think everybody is judging me and I feel wildly jealous of stay-at-home moms. I suspect these conflicting feelings will not miraculously resolve themselves any time soon. Blah.
3) Swimming. Zach started baby swimming lessons in October and it has quickly become one of our favorite family pass times. After a few ambivalent sessions he now adores the water and happily kicks his legs and puts his face in the water. We feel very lucky to have facility as fantastic as Moana Pool nearby, where I can swim laps while Zach takes his lesson with daddy. Fun for everyone!
4) Thanksgiving. We just hosted an American Thanksgiving dinner for 18 -- yes, 18 -- people. I had a bit of a panic when I realized how the guest list had spiraled out of control, but it turned into a really funny, casual evening with people hanging out, eating and drinking on our floor. (Was glad I vaccuumed.) Fried turkey, pecan pie ... what more do you want?
5) Milford Track. Our friends Tom & Libby from the US recently came for a visit and Chris went with them on the Milford Track, a four day, three night hike described as one of New Zealand's (and the world's) best. I believe it was excellent, but you'll have to ask him.
There's more, of course, much more, as always. Zach is fantastic and hilarious and adorable and Chris has oodles of ridiculously cute pictures on his Flickr page, so hopefully you've been checking those while I've been a rogue blogger. I had good intentions to upload some new photos with this post but the Blogger.com site is being fickle, and I just don't have the energy. Next time, I promise.
I'm back on the blogging wagon again, and it feels good. You will hear from me soon.