Monday, December 21, 2009

Ho ho ho!!!

Hello, my gorgeous readers, and Merry Christmas! I know, I know, it's not quite Christmas yet, but I'm in the spirit of things. Last year we were traveling pretty much the entire month of December so we didn't get a tree or do much in the way of gifts, and with it being summer here the season went by so quickly that it never quite felt as Christmas-y as I would have liked. (Incidentally, I thought Kiwis were quite Scrooge-y for not putting up Christmas lights on their houses until someone pointed out to me that it stays light until well past 10 pm right now so it's not exactly easy to find a time to turn them on ...)

Anyway, this year, being Zach's first Christmas and all, I've been determined not to let it get away from us too quickly. I actually ordered cards and had them in the mail by the first week in December. We have a cute little four-foot tree with some simple red and gold decorations and way more gifts under it than anyone has a right to hope for. We have entered the season of Christmas parties (barbecues seem to be the thing here) and Zach even attended his first kid's Christmas party at Chris's work. Zach was not impressed with Santa but had a wonderful time exploring all of the different kinds of fruit on display at the food table. (Have I mentioned how that boy can eat? Anything. Everything. All the time.)

As usual, the only sad thing is that we are not spending this Christmas with our families, but let's not dwell on that. Let's be happy. Photos. Photos make us happy, right? I've got some of those. We just got back from a quick trip to Central Otago with some friends and took a little stroll around Lake Hayes. Absolutely gorgeous and reminds us of everything we love about New Zealand.

Yes, I'm biased. But this boy is cute.

We forgot to pack Zach's backpack (say that three times fast) so little Z rode on Daddy's shoulders. Daddy may now need neck surgery, but Zach absolutely loved it.

Dads and Bubs.

Wishing you Christmas joy and a wonderful 2010! Lots of love to you all!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hello again ...

I've been a bad blogger. Such a bad blogger. Perhaps you have given up on me, faithful readers, and for that I could not blame you. My excuse is I only get about three waking hours each day when Zach is sleeping, and I tend to spend this time in a vegetative state on the couch. On the off chance someone is still checking this thing, I offer my most sincere apologies. And now I'll try to get you up to speed from the last three months. Bear with me!

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 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.