Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Winter Escape to Fiji

Somehow we live in a world where Adam has to go to Fiji for work. Yes Fiji. For work. I was not about to let him go to a tropical island without me, so his work trip quickly turned into a last minute family vacation. Well, as last minute as a trip can be when a passport is involved. 

Oh and it happened to be our wedding anniversary. Coincidence? I think not. Our newlywed days seem so long ago now...
It's been an eventful 4 years to say the least. I could take a trip down memory lane, but for now I'll stick to the trip at hand. I've written about Fiji before so I won't bore you with the details of warm ocean breezes and overpriced cocktails. It was Maggie's first trip though and she fit right in.

Hazel, of course, had a ball.
Besides a water slide, our hotel also came with a 10-year old babysitter. Technically just a girl Hazel met at the pool, but she made it clear she was adopting Hazel for the duration of her stay and played with her for hours in the pool each day. We didn't mind.

Fiji really is so incredibly family friendly. I've never seen a culture embrace children they way the Fijians do. And it's not just the women, I'm talking grown men fawning over babies and children. It's quite remarkable and makes spending time there that much more enjoyable.
Most resorts have toddler pools, a playground, kids club, and babysitters available ($8 FJD/$5.5 NZD/$3.75 US an hour!) I'm all about taking a few hours of adult time to recharge the battery and remind ourselves of the old days. There might have been photographic evidence of said alone time if we hadn't both fallen asleep in the hammock. Fun in the sun makes everyone sleepy though.
A good friend of mine was staying at a neighboring hotel so it worked out perfectly. Hazel was happy to have her bff Harry around.
And we appreciated the extra entertainment provided by Harry's big sister on the plane.
Speaking of flying, I've become such a nervous nellie the past few years. Problem is I love to travel, turns out I just don't like to fly. Ahhh, but the romance of travel gets me every time.
Maggie proved to be a great little flyer.
It was a lovely trip and Fiji comes as close to a real vacation as you can get when kids are involved. Here's a few more pics from our time in paradise.
I mean what kid doesn't love the beach?
The great thing about this age is they don't move, so she pretty much did this most of the time.
If anyone has any tips on how to get a toddler to actually smile for the camera, I'd love to know. 
This one had no trouble relaxing.
It was a short, but sweet getaway. On the drive home from the airport Hazel spent the first five minutes of the car ride screaming, "I want to go back to Fiji."
Exactly child, exactly.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Welcome to the World: Maggie Everett Wolf

And just like that we are a family of 4....

Maggie Everett  joined us on March 12th at 1:05 am, weighing 7.6 lbs and 20" long. By the time she arrived, I was 12 days past my due date (Hazel was 15!). Apparently my womb is a mix of hot baked cookies, puppies, and freshly laundered sheets that makes our girls not want to ever come out.

But come out she did - happy, healthy, and with a full head of hair. It was really special to have the same midwife that delivered Hazel, deliver Maggie. Variety is the spice of life, though, so this time I mixed it up and got pain relief.  I went au natural with Hazel and well let's just say I can see why people get that little thing called an epidural.

Ahh that moment you meet your baby it's truly one of the most amazing moments in life. That part honestly makes me want to have about fifty babies, the other parts well they make me want to stick to the single digits. Hard to believe Maggie is already 12 weeks old.

The past 3 months have flown by and I've found the transition from 1 to 2 kids much easier than the 0 to 1 adjustment.

There is still the same amount of  spit ups, poos, and sleepless nights, but it's much easier to handle second time around (even with a toddler in tow). People tell you it's temporary the first time, that this stage will pass, and with your second kid can actually believe them.

Shortly after delivery I went to Warkworth Birthing Centre to recoup and get some one on one time with Maggie. Adam and Hazel came to visit and it was great to be back in such a supportive environment. Birthcare is basically like a B & B for new mothers. Located in the country, you get round the clock care, meals delivered to your room, midwifes there to you help establish feeding and answer any questions you may have. And it's all free!

Cultural side note: NZ has a huge breastfeeding initiative and it's just the norm here. So if you are doing something besides that, don't expect to hear Journey's, "Open Arms" playing in your hospital room.

As great at birthcare was, it was nice to be home. Hazel was so excited to have her new sister under the same roof.

I could regale you with tales of leaky boobs and diaper blowouts but I think we will just hit  the highlights picture style. Here's some from the last few months.

Sisterly love:

Mother's Day "pup pup" outing:
A visit from "Gaga," Adam's mom:
Trips to the park:
One of our favourite stops, Juicy ice cream in Kumeu:

Hazel's first pony ride:

Still loves her scooter:
They start out so small:
 Ahh those first smiles:
Almost as sweet as the newborn cuddles:
 And right before your eyes they go from a newborn to a baby:
Maggie 2 months old:
Now 3 months old:

Making friends:
And no post would be complete without a scenery shot:

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Waiting for a Baby

I can't believe it's already March and we are heading into Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere. I could say I can't believe I'm still pregnant, but I can. I was so late with Hazel that I've been preparing myself for that elusive due date to come and go, and come and go it has. The whole waiting for a baby thing is an excellent test in patience and self control, as in literally not torching the three maternity items that still fit me and I can comfortably move in.
Speaking of torching, did you know Kiwis call flashlights torches? I didn't for a long time. When we first moved here we got these great books called NZ Frenzy which highlight all these cool, off the beaten path hikes and adventures. I would flip through the book to pick out possible places to explore, but I was often put off by certain locations since the author suggested bringing a torch. I kept imagining King Arthur and Guinevere and finally vented to Adam, "I mean who has a torch these days." Adam kindly told me that flashlights are called torches here. Right.
But I digress. Back to the current state of affairs, me barefoot and pregnant. There was a time I thought the summer heat might bring me down, but alas it didn't. Thank goodness for swims in the ocean. Overall, I can't complain. I've truly had a fantastic pregnancy and am so excited to meet our new baby whenever he or she decides to enter the world. In the meantime, here's a few pics from the past couple months.

Hazel turned 2:

 She got a scooter which she LOVES to ride:
We spent New Years Day at the beach:
I think we might be ruined for life because this is the beach we walk to when we can't be bothered to do anything else.
Days at the park:

Hanging out with friends:
Loves to wear her gumboots even when it's not raining:
Lots of coffee and scone outings with my girl:
No shortage of kid friendly cafes:
Baking at home is always a treat:
Fun at the farmers market:
A view from Adam and Hazel's AM walks (they go every morning!) :
A day out at the aquarium:
Practicing up for her new big sister role:
 I think she would scoot everywhere if she could: 
In honor of my due date, we took the ferry into the city to get gelato:
The original baby in my life:
Only a few more days (hours??) until we are a family of 4.