Thursday, 10 October 2013

Anchors Aweigh

Well I survived another international flight with a baby. Hazel has logged some serious miles in her 9 months on this earth. Man, feels like I've know her for so much longer then that, but I guess that's what happens when you grow that human inside you, spend all your time caring for their well being, and follow it up with wiping poo from their backside numerous times a day. And that people, is how you create intimacy. Don't say I never shared any of my professional wisdom with you and for free.

The flight to the US was indeed long and I won't bore you with any of the details, like how many times my arms went numb and tingly or how 10 minutes feels like an hour when you are in the air with a child, honestly she did great and is kind of a superstar traveler.

The only thing worth mentioning about the actual flight is the magazine article I managed to read in a Woman's Day left on the plane. For those of you not familiar with said publication, imagine anything that makes you proud to be a woman and then picture the opposite. Anyway the article was about a young boy wanting a sex change. His mother told this story about him - " I remember, age three, he was watching a cartoon about a magic man on the moon and he said, "Mummy, do you think the magic man can take my doodle off so I can have a 'gina like the girls?"

If you were having a bad day, it's officially over.

Unless you are Emirates Team New Zealand and you might still have a case of the blues. I had no idea I could get so into sailing until this most recent America's Cup. It was truly exciting.  Kiwis are crazy for sailing and America's Cup is HUGE here. Many Kiwis we talked to were very surprised to find out how not a big deal it is back home. Adam and I totally got into it, watched all the races, and were Team NZ all the way. Unfortunately they lost in the end, but wow what a regatta. Productivity was certainly down in NZ during what was the longest race in the Cup's history.

But back to our trip home, it was great. Ahh it's so freaking amazing to see people that actually know you and do fun things with them. I got to go to Napa:

Take Hazel to the mountains:

See a Falcons game, catch up with so many dear people, and a slew of other things that would take too long to list. I also managed to drink a milkshake every few days. It was awesome. Almost as awesome as this pit stop one evening. Can anyone say late night date night?

A special shout out to our friends Josh and Patricia who flew in from Philly to see us. Our little girls loved each other.

Anyway, we were crazy busy and it often feels like there is never enough of us to go around, but that's just kind of the deal. I think everyone who lives the expat life or even just far from home, experiences the frenetic energy that accompanies a trip back, and it is exhausting. Luckily it's mixed in with moments of great joy, periodic relaxation, lots of people we love, and built in babysitters. And comic relief in the form of one particular trip to the pool.

We attempted to take Hazel for a dip with Adam's family and cousins that were in town and after finally getting everyone to the same place, a feat in itself, we are told the pool had just been closed because some kid did his business in the wrong office, if you know what I mean. Everyone then gets directed to use the indoor pool. This is when my ship sails, but Adam stays on and comes back later to report that shortly after the party got moved indoors that the inside pool closed because some kid took a crap in that pool too.  I can't make this stuff up people. Needless to say, I did not return to poop pool as it would be called if it was on say Scooby Doo.

We did manage to take Hazel for a swim in Knoxville and she loved it. The cool thing about going back in American summer is that you get to go enjoy it and then come home to New Zealand and have summer be right around the corner. Unfortunately what I also came home to was a bout of conjunctivitis. Haven't had that in years. When I went to see the doctor for my eye a conversation like this happened.

Me: "So, I have conjunctivitis. Is that the same as pink eye?

Doctor (woman with thick eastern European accent): Oh red eye, oh yes it can be but no.

Making mental note that from here on out I will just refer to it as Valentines Day eye

Me: Is it contagious?

Doctor (please read in accent for full effect:) "I don't think so. Not very much."

Alrighty then. Reminds me of that time I got a little bit pregnant.

Despite that and Hazel catching her first cold, it's been nice to be back. I mean, after all, this is what I'm coming back to.

We did have a window of health a couple of weeks ago and took a little road trip to the Mount, aka Mt. Maunganui/Tauranga. Such a lovely little spot and we had a great night out on the town with some new friends. That sounded weird, like we're swingers or met them online or something, but we didn't.  It was a fun weekend. Check out the view from the top:

It's a perfect place for a quick weekend getaway from Auckland. 

Room with a view:

Hazel enjoyed the café scene:

Still so much of New Zealand left to explore. Where shall we go next? Probably the same question the guy that owns this boat is asking himself.

a yacht called A
$350 million dollar yacht currently docked in Auckland harbor.

Good thing our offspring isn't too spoiled yet and prefers simple modes of transportation:

*Top photo by AK Vogel