Well it's really hard to get any writing done with this little live doll around that I'm taking care of. But how can I resist that face? I'd trade in my Cabbage Patch any day for her, although Hazel would probably go for more on the black market.
Ahh motherhood, our little babe is already almost 4 months old. Everyone says it goes by so fast and it really does. We have had so many visitors since she was born but everyone wants to meet the new grandbaby and I can't blame 'em. Even my friend Stephanie came all the way from the States to see us and do some New Zealandy type things like fly fish and mountain bike. While she was here we took Hazel on her first plane ride and went down to Queenstown over Easter Weekend. We had been there before but the view never gets old.
Hazel enjoyed her new surroundings too:
Oh and by the way, in New Zealand you get the Friday before and the Monday after Easter off. Number of National Holidays (12) still sits way on top of my reasons why NZ is a great place to live list. And the fact that things like this happen.....
Yes that is a Confederate flag flying at Adam's work lunch. How is possible? I'll tell you. So once a month different departments host a lunch with a different theme and this particular week's theme was Western/American BBQ. According to the department host, the party store was out of American flags but did have one of these. What?!
This is hilarious and wrong on so many levels. I keep picturing the New Zealand sales clerk ordering the Confederate flag, " yes I'm going to need two more of SKU #kkk..." You can only imagine Adam's surprise when he walked into the conference room to grab a quick bite. We really couldn't stop laughing at this one, mostly because we knew the majority of Kiwis wouldn't understand the symbolism or controversy around it making the whole thing that much more hilarious and ridiculous. Cue Hank Williams Jr. And no I don't know if that is the person's real hair or they are wearing a mullet wig.
But I digress, back to Hazel's maiden voyage. We rented a fabulous bach in Arrowtown, a quaint village 20 mins outside of Queenstown. Steph and I have been friends since 6th grade. Now that's some history or should I say herstory.
It was minutes away from Lake Hayes, a real stunner if I do say so myself.
There is a great loop all the way around it that you can do:
Our place was also close to Lake Wanaka, another real looker as far as lakes go. I was loving that it was right next to Central Otago wine region too, which makes some of our favorite Pinots. We had lunch at Amisfield Vineyard and Adam was in charge of feeding Hazel that afternoon so I could imbibe pre-baby style.
Sometimes it's nice to just to enjoy a drink or three and not worry about how it affects your bloodstream and relax knowing you're not going to have to whip your boobs out in public. It really was a great trip. Hazel was a dream on the plane and while travelling with a baby is a little more work it is definitely doable. Although I did miss flipping through magazines instead of just reading the safety card. I will give a shout out to Air New Zealand who produces the only safety videos I've ever seen that are actually fun and entertaining to watch. I think it reflects Kiwi culture, they never take themselves too seriously.
It felt good to know we could still get away and that our life, even though totally different with a baby, could still go on in some ways as it did before. Being a mamma is tiring though. The constant out pour of energy caring for another being, whew. Calgon take me away. Hazel bright eyed and not affected by my tiredness:
Speaking of, when someone says they are tired don't respond with, " oh yes, you look tired." Everyone knows that's code for crap. I don't need you to confirm what I just saw ten minutes ago when I looked in the mirror before I left the house. Not that that has ever happened to me, that's just my friendly advice.
That and stop wearing maternity clothes after you have the baby. Even after I could fit into my old clothes, I had to ween myself off a few items that were just so comfy that I thought I could get away with looking "easy and comfortable." I learned the tough way when I went to the spa sporting a dress I wore throughout my pregnancy and the therapist asked "so did you have the baby? " HA. Yes I did and here she is:
A lot of this baby stuff is trial by fire. What seems like a good idea initially may not always turn out to be. Like when I thought it would be fun to take Hazel to a yoga class at 6 weeks old . Hey I thought I love yoga and I love my baby why not combine the two. Yeah, not so much. Hazel slept the entire time and as much as I want to hear your baby cry while I'm in downward dog....it's not for me. I told Adam about it and he said, "Oh I thought that sounded awful when you mentioned you were going to do it." Not that I would have listened. Now I do yoga the old fashion way - alone.
What is fun though is Wriggle and Rhyme at the local library:
I continue to be impressed with the resources New Zealand has for new parents. Most impressive is Plunket, which is "New Zealand's largest provider of support services for the development, health, and well being of children under 5." Thank me if this is ever a Jeopardy question or perhaps you're more of a Cash Cab kind of guy or gal. At any rate Plunket is amazing. You can do all sorts of stuff through them - hire a car seat for crazy cheap, get help with your baby's feeding or sleeping at their Family Centre, freaking take your own nap at their Family Centre (for real they have beds), they also have Plunket nurses that are assigned to you that check in with you regularly, and they even offer coffee groups.
A coffee group here basically just means a mothers group. I joined one through Plunket and the one thing almost all of us had in common was that none of us were from NZ or had our family here. The first time I went it was like a little UN meeting - Liberia, Argentina, Scotland, India, and Australia were all represented. It's an amazing resource to have and it's all free. I'm also in another coffee group, which is composed of women from my antenatal class. So while I miss my friends and family like crazy, I do have lots of nice first time moms to hang with.
And share stories with. Such as when Hazel and I went into to see Adam at work and she managed to do a poo waterfall out of her pants and onto the office carpet. Well I guess I'm that person now that talks about my kid's poop. I have arrived.