Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Time of Thanks

We are now in the Tri-City area of Eastern Washington to visit the other half of Jon's family. We flew into Portland late Monday night - had a rough time on the flight and by the time we got into our hotel, all three of us were exhausted and a little fussy. I'm glad we decided to spend the night in Portland rather than jumping into a car for Jon's mom's house after the flight (a 3.5 hour drive).

Tuesday we spent all day walking around downtown Portland - it rained on and off all day and our big accomplishment was finding just the right gloves for Jon and me - it was freezing! But, we enjoyed the time outside exploring the city nonetheless. :) We arrived into Richland late Tuesday evening in time for dinner and then bed - whew!

We've been visiting with family and eating to our hearts' content (good bye diet!) and thoroughly enjoying the time away from home. Of course, Logan is the center of attention and is absolutely LOVING it. I'm not sure how he's going to handle the change once we get home and Mommy and Daddy can't dote on him 24x7 like his grandparents and aunts are doing. ;-)

I'm thankful for a wonderful first year with our beautiful baby boy. I'm thankful I have such a loving and supportive life partner, friend, lover and husband. I'm thankful for our gorgeous new house that we were able to purchase right before Logan arrived. I'm thankful that Jon and I are both blessed with amazing jobs that allow us the flexibility to travel, see friends and family, take care of Logan and live the happy lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to. I'm thankful for our friends who help us through the good times and bad, who share their tips on babycare so we might not run into the same mistakes when it's our turn and of course, who babysit our furry babies when we are away, even if they may be a bit hard to handle at times. ;-) I'm thankful for the huge network of family that we have at our fingertips - who all adore Logan to pieces and help watch him from time to time so that Jon and I are still able to have a date or two on our own, to help us keep sane amidst the daily chaos that we live.

Thanks to all who have made our past year so treasurable - we wish you as great, or greater, Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Relaxin' in Texas

I was scrambling at the last minute yesterday to get to my flight on time. Let's just say I should have been at the airport at 1pm, yet I was in the shower at 12:30pm.... I begged the airport guy to let me on the plane, telling him I didn't even care if my luggage made it, I just had to be on that plane! :)

I guess it worked since he smiled and let me through. *whew*

I also ran into a really nasty rude woman on the plane, but decided to keep my trap shut and ignore her. The guy next to me wasn't as thoughtful and blurted out a few choice words to her, which had her literally in tears, all before take off. Good times!

When I arrived late last night, Jon had wonderfully big news to tell. Logan had taken two steps toward Nolan ("Papa") all on his own!! We are so excited and I can't wait to see the walking action with my own two eyes. :)

We're doing nothing but eating tons of ridiculously decadent southern food and relaxing (I just got back from an out-of-this-world MUCH NEEDED massage).

Life is good when you're on vacation and stressful work is a thousand miles away.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Silent Night

I dropped Jon and Logan off at the airport this morning. I went in with them to help Jon carry all the crap. Or rather, I carried Logan and the diaper bag while Jon had the bulk of the big stuff on his back.

At the security line, I had to transfer Logan over to Jon. I helped strap the Ergo Carrier onto Jon and load Logan up. During the transfer, Logan kept looking at me - his expression said it all - Mom, why are you handing me over to Dad? Where are you going?

It's okay kiddo - you're going to have a great time flying to Texas with Daddy and then I will see you soon, tomorrow night.

Was I saying that to assure Logan everything would be all right? or to assure myself? :)

Once Jon was loaded up and ready to go, we kissed good-bye and he took off toward the security gate. Jon's back was to me, but as I watched them walk away, I suddenly saw Logan's little face with inquiring eyes poke out, over Jon's shoulder. He was leaning far to one side so he could keep his eyes on me (I wish I had taken a pic, it was so precious).

I waved good bye, walking closer to the railings so he could still see me - and, the poor little guy kept his eyes on me the entire time while Jon checked on through.

I sure am going to miss my guys tonight.

On the other hand, I'll finally get an uninterrupted night's sleep. WOO!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For Adults Only

Last Saturday we had a really nice dinner at Roy's in Pebble Beach with three other couples, sans babies. And, even tho I had plenty on my mind, Jon and I still got all dressed up and enjoyed the downtime together.

Proof that we DO still do things alone once in awhile....

(Thanks to my parents for babysitting all evening!)

In other news, Logan has been consistently waking up about 3am every night for the past few days, which has really been wreaking havoc on our lives (Jon has been a real trooper and handling most of the night calls since my work hours have been keeping me up both early and late).

We're pretty sure he's teething, since we see some more white underneath his swollen little gums, poor kid. Hopefully the teeth will break thru before Jon and Logan's flight tomorrow, otherwise Jon is definitely going to have his hands full! :(

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I try to hide my stress as much as possible, but sometimes there is so much going on, that I can't quite keep my head above water.

This last week, and the following couple of weeks, I'll be sputtering water, sucking air, and basically just trying to survive.

What does this mean? Short quick blog posts, if any at all.

This last week, I traveled to Sacramento for the Professional Business Women of California's Annual Conference. Great speakers, good presentations (which I hope to tell you about later when I can), but boy was I distracted. Just 5 minutes before hopping in the car to take off for 2 days, my boss asks, pleads and begs me to create a project plan for a multi-million dollar deal we are trying to win.

Sure, I can work on that for you. I'll be gone the next couple of days, but I can start meeting with team members when I get back into the office on Friday and we can start hashing out the plan over the next couple of weeks. When do you need it by?

Tuesday morning. NEXT Tuesday morning.

And oh by the way, can you attend and present, since the client will be visiting onsite that day and will want to meet you? (why? because apparently in our proposal I've been named as the potential PM, on an engagement I know nothing about)


I mean, WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Putting together a "quick" project plan for a huge deal is time consuming when that is ALL you have to do.

But when you are gone for two days at a business conference, and then working your tail off to smooth over last minute fires for a (different) client launch scheduled next Wednesday morning (that is also a multi-million dollar deal and has ALL executive management watching my every move), then creating a project plan out of thin air, on an engagement you really know nothing about, because remember you just heard about this opportunity 5 minutes before hopping in the car Wednesday night, is pretty much damn near impossible.

And, as much as I have become pretty skilled at masking my stress levels, my heart definitely has been beating faster all weekend long as I work against the clock. My mind has been racing 100 miles faster than it usually does. Visualizing all I need to get done, while I rock my baby to sleep, praying this night he will actually sleep through the night and give us some peace and quiet.

Peace and quiet I need so I can clear my head and get some work done.

My PT shakes her finger at me any time she hears about my work life intruding into my home life. Any time she sees the stress levels rising higher than they normally do for a Silicon Valley go-getter. I wonder what she will say tomorrow after I tell her this recent development of events? I know my back has been hurting more because of it, that's for sure. I feel like I already need another vacation! ;-)

Speaking of, Jon and Logan leave on Thursday for our Thanksgiving travels, and I leave Friday afternoon to catch up with them. We'll be visiting Jon's parents in Texas and Washington over the holidays - and the break couldn't come at a better time.

Let's just hope I can keep it together until then.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On pins and needles

You know you're desperate when you pay a kooky old hippie a handful of cash to stick a bunch of needles into your body, hoping that these needles will actually relieve the chronic pain and inflammation you're experiencing.

At least, that's what the acupuncturist sold me on yesterday afternoon.

I haven't decided 100% yet, if I'm going to see an acupuncturist full time for my foot and back injuries. But, I decided to give it a try yesterday and see what I thought.

It's definitely strange to wrap my head around the different philosophy of eastern vs. western medicine. Cold is bad for your body (it sucks you dry), whereas hot is good (creates better blood flow and circulation). Which is, of course, opposite of what my PT has been training me to do (ice pack 1-2x a day, every day!).

The procedure itself was pretty easy and painless. I had maybe 12-15 needles stuck in my lower back, hips and down my legs. I felt maybe 1-2 of them (a teeeeeny tiny pinch). After that, he messed with a few of them in my back, I'm not sure exactly what he was doing, but I'm assuming twisting or driving them in deeper for a better effect. He kept asking me "do you feel that?" and I kept saying nope, nope, not yet, nope. Until WHOOSH. I got really light headed and tingly.

So, he stopped and said that was enough for the day - and left me to rest under heat lamps for a good 30-45 min.

I was a little anxious through the entire procedure, so I couldn't relax or let myself go completely. That, complicated with the fact that I was face down in a massage table, with a stupid head cold where I could NOT breathe one bit, meant I didn't drift off to sleep like I (and my acupuncturist I'm sure) expected. :)

After the "rest time" was up - he came back in, removed all the needles, and rubbed a eucalyptic type of oil on my back to really "spread" the treatment down my back and through my body.

I'm not sure if it worked, but it smelled good. ;-)

So, the jury is still out. I'm pretty open to different medicines and approaches to regaining my health, since I'm tired of dealing with the constant aches and pains and quite honestly...

I am desperate.

Monday, November 10, 2008

11 months old

Every minute, hour, day and month that passes by with Logan in our lives, I find such joy in getting to know our son. Today, Logan turned 11 months old - and in just one short month he'll have been with us a full year. WOW.

I have caught myself a few times now, already saying things like "when he was little", as if he's no longer a little baby. But, he doesn't feel little to us anymore! We're definitely transitioning into toddler-dom I think. He's extremely active with quite a personality (and such a flirt to all the women). He's also very loud and impatient, reminding me of his Daddy. ;-)

He is a fast little guy - cruising around the furniture like a pro and when that's not quite fast enough, he'll plop down on the floor, crawl cheetah-fast right over to you, and then pull himself up again so he's near you. He hasn't yet walked on his own, but he's doing plenty of it assisted with either his walker toy or pushing kid-height stuff (like his toy box or the ottoman) in front of him.

I can see he really wants to walk - every time we are near "bigger" kids (who are already walking or running) he is keenly interested in watching them play, leaning way out to one side of my arms, looking over my shoulder, studying their every move. And, on several occasions, we've caught him testing his own balance by standing and letting go of things, usually when he's next to me, which my dad thinks is because he feels safer and more confident when he's with me. We'll see. He may be running around the house before we know it.

In general, Logan is a fairly good natured little guy. However, it feels like he's been out of sorts more than usual this past month. I'm pretty sure it's a combination of adjusting back to preschool after our big family vacation, topped with the growing pains of new teeth coming in. His 5th tooth poked through over the last month and the gums around his others are pretty swollen as well. Often times we now find him gnawing on his own fingers. At least he knows how to self soothe?

Another leap into toddler-dom may just be all the new foods we are feeding Logan. No more is the easy brainless world of pick a baby jar off the shelf and spoon it into our son's mouth. Oh no. Now I have to think about what to make for him; breakfast, lunch and dinner. He's eating "real" food - pasta, steamed veggies, sandwiches, mac n' cheese, you name it. It's definitely made meals more challenging for me, but I'm so glad to see his growing interest in food!

Just the other day, Jon walked in the door with Logan chatting away as happy as ever. But, what was different were the sounds and syllables he was making. We hadn't heard him "talk" these words before! The closest thing I can relate it to would be "doggydoggydoggydoggy". ;-) He doesn't yet associate the sounds with any real meaning, that we can tell, but it's definitely apparent he's building his vocabulary day by day. It's also a red flag to us that we need to point out new things we see and do more often, describing them so he can hear, mimic and learn.

Logan celebrates in many ways. He celebrated when Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States, by sleeping soundly through the night. He celebrated when Daddy bought him a baby kilt (of the McDonald clan), by crawling all over the living room rug, collecting as much dog fur on it as possible. And he celebrates the end of each meal, by sharing his leftovers with the dogs, laughing as they lick every last morsel of food off his chubby little fingers.

Speaking of sharing, Logan is learning there is more to life than just himself. He's learning to share! Now, no matter what he finds or picks up to inspect, he MUST offer it to me or Jon as well. If it's his food, he'll put it in our mouths, if it's a toy, he places it in our laps. We of course, return the favor and "share" the item back, which he is so tickled about. In fact, sometimes, perhaps when he is impatient and can't wait for the game of give and take to run its course, he offers to share a toy, but then quickly takes it back before I get a chance to say thank you and take it. Of course, our smart little cookie knows exactly what he's doing - waiting for the surprised confused look on my face with a HUGE grin on his. And that's when I tell him to stop being an Indian giver.

In California, though recommended, apparently Logan's car seat is not required to be rear facing (I had been holding out until he reached age 1, because I thought that was the requirement before we could turn his seat around). So, we recently turned him forward facing so that his little legs and feet wouldn't continue to smoosh up and get cramped against the seat backs of our car.

It's a little weird driving around town now, seeing him RIGHT THERE, staring back at me. But, it's also a lot more fun to talk to him about his day as we drive home from school. Logan seems to like the change too - he's now able to kick his feet more freely and babble loudly direct in my ear, to make sure I'm listening to his stories.

Don't worry kiddo, I'm always listening.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 15: Homeward Bound

Oct 5th

Our last day in New Zealand. :(

We woke up a little late - whoops! So we all were running around, packing everything up and showering, etc. to check out by 11am (everywhere in NZ, checkout is 10am, and when you ask for a late checkout they say ok, 10:30....yeah, we were late. *sigh*)

Once we checked out we headed back downtown to Vudu Cafe, a joint Jill read about that had a great breakfast. And it WAS good! I got pancakes with lemon butter - super yum! (me being the lemon whore that I am) We bought a few more last minute gifts, took some pics of the lake - of course TODAY the weather was gorgeous! - and then headed out to the airport.

Our check in was painless (we were the only ones in line to check in) and since we left from a small airport, the security check in was REALLY easy and quick (highly suggest leaving out of a small airport when traveling, if you can!)

Our flight to Auckland went okay. Logan was tired but he had trouble falling asleep - and was loud as usual. ;-) And, it was pretty crowded (Jon had the aisle, Logan was on my lap in the middle seat and some poor guy was hunched over trying to sleep and ignore Logan, in the window seat). But, he did finally fall asleep toward the end of the flight and slept through our lunch/dinner (on me in the Ergo carrier) at the Auckland airport. I had another "made to order" sandwich that was again, delish! Too bad I discovered them so late in our trip...

Our flight to SFO was delayed so we sat around the Auckland airport for another 1.5 hours. But we didn't mind too much. It gave us more time to exercise and wear Logan out. :) Sure enough, immediately upon takeoff, he fell asleep....and THIS time he slept a full EIGHT HOURS!


The flight wasn't crowded at all, so Jon and I got a full row to ourselves with Eric and Jill in the row behind us. We put Logan in the "far" bassinet (over the seats next to us) and I laid down across three seats to rest my back while Jon reclined in his one. Unfortunately, we still didn't sleep all that well since it was pretty uncomfortable (the arm rests in our row didn't move up so I was playing twister maneuvering my body around them) - but at least Logan was sleeping. :)

Logan woke up about 5:30am NZ time which was about 9:30am SFO time, so others on the plane were starting to stir and wake up too. Perfect! I thought. I won't feel so bad then if he is loud. I didn't have to worry though - he really wasn't that noisy at all. He sat on the floor playing at our feet, crawling around and walking along the seats back and forth between us (Jon sat at one end of the row and I at the other). He was awake for about 1.5 hours before conking out again (on me) - and slept through the last hour or so of the flight.

I think many people were surprised there was a baby in our row. When we landed, several people commented on how great he had behaved. We couldn't have been prouder, or more relieved (we didn't mention how we struggled with him on the flight out).

We gathered our luggage and breezed through customs. We said our goodbyes to Eric and Jill since they had a connecting flight back home to San Diego and were routed down a different path. It was sad to see them go and end our trip, but it was a relief to finally be back home.

Where to next?

Editor's Note: Eric took some AMAZING portraits of us during our trip. Since I don’t have any (good) pics of our last day, I decided to feature a few of his collection instead. I encourage you to check out his entire album when you have the chance. Thank you again Eric - we love them!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Zedland Road Signs

As you've seen from my many posts journaling our trip, we spent a lot of time on the road. New Zealand must have a lot of tired drivers who cause accidents, because road signs everywhere, encouraged people to pull over if tired.

We found several of their expressions funny (or perhaps it was just me), so half way through our trip I started writing them down. Here's the collection :)
  • You know when you are tired.
  • Tired driving is the same as drunk driving.
  • You know what causes crashes.
  • Tired? Take a power nap.
  • You know crashes occur on bends.
  • Fatigue kills; Have a break.
  • You know to drive sober. Kia Kaha! (Maori which means "Be Strong")
  • Good drivers have knowledge - use it.
  • You know the dangers of bad driving.
  • Feeling Tired? Wake up to the signs.

New Zedland Quotes of the Day

Since we were spending so much time in the car, I started writing down various funny "quotes of the day" which often happened during our road trips (but not always).

What is a road trip without hilarious "you had to be there" quotes anyway, huh? :)

Here's the collection:
  • "Good on ya mate" - Everyone (what every Kiwi seems to say when you leave or end a conversation)
  • "There's prune juice in here! I am not even kidding guys!" - Eric (when seeing that the Waitomo cabin had prune juice in the fridge, which actually happened to be ours, that Jill put in there when we got in)
  • "Stupid bitch" - Jon; "We will not road rage in New Zealand" - Eric, in response
  • "It's just too big" - Eric (his reasoning for why he didn't think NZ was/is an island)
  • "It's been awhile, but if I remember correctly, this tastes like balls" - Eric; "I just had balls like yesterday, and this does not taste like balls" - Jon (referring to a Kiwi drink they bought and tried out. Apparently "balls" is a type of sports drink that we have here in the States)
  • "Man, he's got a small penis!" - Eric (seeing Logan's penis for the first time)
Notice all quotes were from the MEN of our travel party?


Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 14: Queenstown

Oct 4th

Even with the twin beds pushed together, they had slowly spread apart throughout the night, so when Logan woke up at 4am (and stayed awake until 5:30!), it was really hard for me to get him back to sleep and lay in bed myself without one of us falling off the bed. :)

When we finally got up for the day, it was POURING outside!! We couldn't see the lake nor mountains beyond, it was so super wet. So much for bungee jumping.... ;-)

We headed into town late morning to find brunch and walk around the "Queenstown Mall" (basically the downtown area with a bunch of tourist shops, cafes, restaurants and boutiquey stores). The area was very cute, even though it was cold and rainy out. It reminded me of a ski town (well, it sorta is) like Mammoth, Tahoe or Whistler. We basically spent the ENTIRE day walking all over, buying all of our last gifts for the trip.

Even with the rainy weather, it was actually a nice day - my back was pretty tired and sore from all the walking but it was still nice to get out and breathe in the fresh air instead of staying cooped up in the car for several hours. We ate at the little Lakeside Cafe where I had a "made to order" sandwich that was scrumptious. Next door was a local chocolate shop - so we stopped for hot chocolate, croissants, truffles and chocolate shake. Excellent!

After a few hours of shopping and walking, we stopped at a bar with several fireplaces, leather couches and a lounge area which we took over, propping up our feet to rest, drink beer, try their nachos and cheese board (finally!) and let Logan crawl around. :) Small world as it is, our waitress was actually from San Diego, working there so she could snowboard all winter (apparently making travel her career, since she was just in Hawaii and was headed to Japan next. Boy was I jealous!!)

Eric has been hankering for a steakhouse forever, so afterward we went to a place called Botswana Butchery for dinner. Logan was asleep for the afternoon, but literally 5 minutes before reaching the restaurant he woke up screaming.... turned out he had peed through, and onto, his pants and stroller. Since it was FREEZING out, I think the cold wet chills woke him up. :( So Jon and I stripped him naked on a park bench in the freezing cold to change him (it was faster than walking blocks with a wet baby to the nearest public restroom/changing station). But, as expected our poor little guy did NOT like that. Some drunk kids nearby yelled at us "I think your baby is cold!!" as Logan screamed and kicked at the two of us huddled over him.


When we got back inside, we had just enough time to order our food before Logan got really loud and fussy (he was actually still tired). So, Jon took him for the first shift, walking him in the stroller all over town. I scarfed down my carrot and fennel soup (yum!!) and sauteed spinach (eh.) and then went back out looking for Jon. I took over the 2nd shift so Jon could eat - walking Logan around until he finally fell back to sleep. We then finished our evening enjoying some really yummy desserts (mine was the best - a lemon tart)! :)

We crashed soon after we got home - Jill was nice enough to have us switch rooms so we got the big bed this night. Which I was so glad to have, since Logan woke up sometime in the middle of the night and stayed with us in bed until morning....

A barking problem

I'm working from home today since my back is out of sorts and I'm dealing with an(other) ugly head cold. Of course, every chance they get, Lola and Odin are up and BARKING IN MY EAR whenever the mailman comes, or the UPS guy, or the gardener, or the second mailman, or the lady who wants to sell neighborhood Christmas trees.

It is all I can do not to strangle the two of them, or drug them with a little Benadryl and a sip of Jon's scotch. (what? I would never do that. I'm just saying....)

So, of course, today's Dooce post couldn't come at a better time. Oh, how I can totally relate.

What a wonderful time

I tried to describe as best I could, how important to me electing Obama as the next President of the United States is. Though I blog almost daily, words often fail me. Clear cohesive thoughts, arguments or descriptions do not float to the top of mind. I am often teased by my digressions and lengthy ponderings. :)

Hey, I'm no journalist. No attorney. No fiction, nor non-fiction, writer.

I blog. For fun.

My dad has sent some articles to me over the last few days, all about Obama's election, of course. ;-) I just finished reading this one, and at the end, was a single message that says it all for me.

It's what I was trying to convey the other night.

Rosa Parks sat in 1955.
Martin Luther King walked in 1963.
Barack Obama ran in 2008.
That our children might fly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 13: Franz Josef

Oct 3rd

We all intentionally woke up early (7am) to book our tour of the Franz Josef Glacier, but it was POURING outside, so we decided to just do the "short" walk ourselves without the guided tour (Jon was worried it'd be too wet and cold for Logan). Logan woke up later (about 8am) which was nice for a change (Logan is pictured here checking out the downpour on our front porch).

Since we skipped the guided tour we took longer and ate breakfast at the cabin and enjoyed the morning. At checkout, we spent 30 minutes online, writing quick emails to everyone (or a quick blog post). We finally set out for the glacier about 11am-ish. We took one trail that ended at a lookout point with signs warning us not to go any further since the bad weather had washed away many of the trails.

So, we did what any determined set of traveling Americans would do.

We scoffed at the signs and kept going.

The sights on our way to the face of the glacier were absolutely gorgeous! There was water running everywhere - waterfalls every where you turned, creeks to skip across, rain falling on your head, rushing rapids as we got closer and of course the creaking glacier in the distance.

Along the way, Jill stumbled across a second DANGER sign, not along our path but within eyesight from where we were walking. She pointed it out to me, a bit more nervous this time, but the boys were already far ahead of us and out of yelling reach.

So, we did what any good wives would do.

We pretended we didn't see the sign and rushed on ahead to catch up.

The walk to the glacier was a little slow going because we were stopping to take a bunch of pics and navigating across rivers, streams, and lots of rocks. But I'm so glad we made the trek. When we finally got to the face of the glacier, it was unlike anything I've seen before. It was made up of massive chunks of hard compacted ice - yet was very pretty, reflecting the water inside the ice like crystal catching a flickering sunbeam.

There were small boulders falling near us since the glacier was fairly slippery and actively melting from the sun.

But, we did what any determined set of traveling parents would do.

We ignored the tumbling rocks and changed Logan at the foot of the glacier anyway.

After an entire afternoon spent hiking and taking our fill of pictures, we hit the road again, grabbing lunch at Cook Saddle Cafe in Fox Glacier Village first. I ordered a tostada, but it was NOTHING like a tostada (more like a casserole or enchilada). And, even though I ordered it HOT, it was not spicy at all damnit.

Kiwis are such pussies.

We had another long drive ahead of us to Queenstown, our final stop before returning to the States. :( We made a pit stop in the middle of nowhere and Eric left his door open, which let a bunch of gnats inside the car. And, this is what one of our guide books said about that:

"The dreaded sand fly. Particularly common in the wetter and coastal areas of Fiordland (but present almost everywhere), these black, pinhead sized 'flying fangs' have a successful hit rate that makes laser-guided missile systems look archaic. Open your car door and within seconds a vast cloud of the little devils will descend and your entire party will look like a crowd of deranged loonies at a rave."


We spent the next 30 minutes on our drive, powering the windows up and down, and up and down, "guiding" the lucky ones out of the car, or smacking the unlucky ones against the dashboard. All the time yelling with excitement the minute we caught sight of another wandering impostor.

Throughout our trip, Logan had this uncanny ability to wake up super cranky about 30 minutes before arriving at our destination. No matter how long the drive - 2 hours or 6 hours - he always fussed 30 minutes before we got there! We've noticed this ability to predict also appears when drinking his bottles, since he will always leave 2oz of milk, no matter how much was originally in it. :)

We arrived into Queenstown just after sunset. We had a really nice apartment hotel - most of the units were over looking Lake Wakatipu, but ours overlooked an inner courtyard of the property. Still, it was a very nice and "modern" pad. I think our only complaint was that one of the two bedrooms had 2 twin beds again - doh! So, Jon and I took that room for the first night.

The boys went to get dinner while Jill and I stayed at the apartment with Logan, unpacking and letting him exercise every last bit of energy left in his bones.

The boys got back and I finally got my Chinese takeout fix. Yummmmmm.

Only, watch out property management!

'cause now our place smells like Chinese food. ;-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Historic Win

I can't tell you how crazy my day has been today, as I numbingly went through the motions of a "normal" workday, while inside I was exploding with excitement and nervous anticipation.

I'm still in a bit of disbelief, actually, that Obama has won. Tonight, he was named the elected President of the United States.

He made it happen.

We made it happen. Yes we did.

Logan - we're doing all we can to make this world a better place for you and your generation. Tonight, I feel we're finally taking a big step in the right direction.

I have faith this movement of change will continue for many years to come. It has to.

And we won't let you down.


Seriously, Go Vote.

Just voted. Damn it feels good. :)

If you don't vote, then you have to shut up.

Me? I'm hoping for change.

Go Vote. Go Now.

Little Truett says it all.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day 12: Punakaiki

Oct 2nd

Logan woke up about 1:30am which is unusual for him these days. But, he seemed to be cold (it WAS cold) so we gave him a bottle and he fell back to sleep in our bed....and then Jon moved him to the crib shortly afterward (I'm not going to pay for a crib and then not use it damnit!)

Because Logan woke up in the middle of the night, he didn't wake up again until 8:30am, which was nice for sleeping in, but not so nice for the early start that we were hoping for. So, we all had a really lazy and relaxing morning instead; ate some breakfast and hung out in the cabin while Jon ran back and forth down the hill to tend to our laundry.

We decided to walk to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes (about 1/3 mile down the road) while our laundry dried (did I mention the dryers are definitely not as good here?). And ended up spending a really long time there!! The pancake rocks were nothing like I've seen before. Sea, wind and rain have etched out layers within the limestone rock formations along the coast and it was absolutely amazing. We got there just as high tide was approaching which was perfect to see the blowholes in action as well!

After our excursion, we packed up and headed back south, through Greymouth, where we stopped for lunch. But, it being 3pm, all cafes were closed again (they shut down between 2-5pm for some weird reason). We ended up at the same pizzeria because it was the only place open again.... but we got pasta this time and it was sooo disappointing. :(

I think we were all finally starting to have enough of each other and definitely enough of the car rides.... at least, I was! I got cranky and argued with Jon - about nothing really. Jill and Eric had moments where they no longer thought Logan was cute but just loud and annoying instead. And Jon was tired of driving everywhere. :(

I won't lie - it's definitely harder traveling with a baby, and being in a car the majority of the time is even worse. There were times on the trip where I was even sick of Logan myself! (I'm definitely not used to caring for him 24x7) :)

So, the next trip I will need to plan out less driving and allow him more time to crawl and explore. I've also decided that two weeks is probably the max we can travel with him (I was wanting to travel longer but now I think it's better we didn't do any longer than we did). On the other hand, if we had more time, we could space out the drives more and then perhaps it wouldn't be as bad. Hrmmm.

It rained most of the drive south to our next stop, Franz Josef. All four of us napped (minus poor Jon), which was probably good since we were all starting to get at each others' throats a bit. We pulled into Franz Josef early around 6:30pm which gave us a bit more time to relax and find a nice place to eat. Our "tree house" wasn't really in the trees like we were hoping for - but it WAS a beautiful HUGE cabin! And perfect timing for a nice place to lift all of our spirits up. It had 3 bedrooms, full kitchen, bath/laundry, dining room and huge living room. It was great! Especially for Logan to crawl around in - and better still, he even got his own room. ;-)

We ate dinner at an Indian restaurant down the road which was pretty good. Jon and Eric got Chicken Tikka Masala hot and extra hot (respectively) and were literally SWEATING through their meal :) while Logan played peekaboo standing on a chair, watching some nearby women. What a flirt!

Besides being such a flirt and also super loud, Logan started taking everything (food) OUT of his mouth, examining it and then putting pieces of the food back in his mouth. Aiiieeee. Also, he wouldn't eat ANY of the veggie jars we got him throughout the trip. Talk about frustrating! :( All of the veggie jars did have meat - so either he's a natural vegetarian ;-) or our veggie jars at home are more plain, or sweet or something?

He has also started walking around coffee tables and furniture a lot more which again, was particularly great with the cabin we were in. :) From time to time I'd even catch him trying to stand on his own but he'd still lose his balance pretty quickly.

Next time we visit Franz Josef, we're going to have to stay at the Rainforest Retreat again, and we're going to have to stay longer than just one night. *sigh*

Monterey Bay Aquarium

I've been wanting to get out and do some family outings with just the three of us, especially now that Logan is older, bigger and is starting to need more stimulation than the toys around our house.

Last weekend we had big plans to go visit the zoo but never got around to it. Yesterday, it was raining pretty much all day long, so instead of the zoo, we decided to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and give Logan a chance to check out some fishies for the first time!

We had a great time! Logan pretty much slept the entire ride over and back, so he was in a pretty good mood while at the Aquarium. Most of the exhibits are still a little too tall for him to see into on his own, so we did a lot of holding/carrying and pointing. And, when he noticed a fish swimming by, he did a lot of pointing and slamming on the glass, trying to touch or grab them. ;-) I had never really thought about it, but he was only interested in those things that actually moved.

A gigantic octopus that was suctioned to the glass right in front of him?


I also hadn't thought about all of the interactive displays that the Aquarium has - but those came in really handy as well! Logan loved pushing all the buttons and watching parts of the displays light up, and he was also really interested in the Touch Pool (whether he was more interested in the water or the animals, I'm not sure).

I'm really excited to go back again soon, since I know everything will be even more interesting to him as he gets older and older!!

After our day at the Aquarium, we met up with a bunch of our friends for dinner and a friendly game of poker. We had a really nice night with everyone - and Logan enjoyed playing with all of Robert's toys, as usual. ;-)

Unfortunately, when we woke him up to go home for the night, we found he had thrown up all over himself and the crib he was in! :( We had noticed he wasn't himself most of the day (not really eating or drinking anything), but we had chalked it up to another tough teething episode rather than an upset stomach. :( So, we ended up keeping a late night last night bathing him, doing laundry and calming him back to sleep for the night.

Today, Jon's been feeling a bit under the weather himself unfortunately, so we three took it easy and spent most of the day at the mall and then lounging around at home. Jon and I took care of a few chores in between the cuddling with Logan since he's definitely been more fussy and clingy today, than usual. But, no more puking so at least that is good! ;-) and I have to say, the "extra" hour we gained from the time change came in real handy as we got a lot done for the weekend, all things considered.

ps. As always, click on the pics for more of our day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I've also uploaded albums for the Halloween pics we took the other night, as well as the Pumpkin Patch pics I never got up a couple weeks ago....