Friday, May 21, 2010

never mind


Me: 0


It took Max less than 24 hours to figure out how to climb out of Maya's bed. Thankfully, so far, Max has not gotten out of bed during a time when he should have been sleeping. He just likes to climb out after his noon time nap.

It looks like we might need to switch to toddler beds soon.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

sky photos

i won this round

Max has learned how to get out of his bed. We left our cribs (cots) in the US and brought only our pack and plays (travel cots) to New Zealand. I knew it was only a matter of time. With all the time we spend climbing at the park, the kids were bound to learn how to climb out of their cribs. Two days ago Max strolled into my room near the end of nap time.

I realized last night when I was putting the kids to bed that Maya's travel cot is slightly taller than Max's. So I had the kids switch beds. It worked. I asked Max if he could get out of his bed. He tried several attempts and couldn't quite do it.

It looks like mom won this round. Unless he was just trying to lull me into tranquility so he could showcase his skills at another time.

In other news, Lonnie has decided that it is not yet time to give up the pacifier. We are going to give the kids another six months so that we can be sure they understand what is going to happen. Score one for the kids.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Marlborough Sounds

While in Blenheim, we enjoyed a beautiful Sunday drive along the Marlborough Sounds, which is a network of sea-drowned valleys surrounded by forested peninsulas and islands. The Marlborough Sounds are located at the northern tip of the South Island (see map).

We drove from Blenheim to Havelock, which is a small town at the end of Pelorus Sound. Just outside of Havelock, we went on a short walk, which we all really enjoyed (the kids because they got out of the car and us because it kept the kids from mutiny). We then drove along Queen Charlotte Drive to Picton, which is a town at the end of Queen Charlotte Sound. Picton has a port with a terminal for the ferry that crosses the Cook Strait between the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

The drive was stunning. The weather was perfect. We enjoyed another stunning spot of New Zealand (we should get a commission from NZ tourism for the shameless promotion).

Queen Charlotte Sound from the road near Picton

Alisa enjoying the view from a bench on the trail near Havelock

The whole family at an overlook of Havelock

Alisa and Maya along the trail near Havelock

Life at the heels of 2-year-old twins

kiwi word of the week

Pash: kiss/snog

Ex: Where did you have your first pash?

(Feel free to answer)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


On our recent trip, we spent a Saturday driving along the northeast coast of the South Island and visiting Kaikoura. The drive from Blenheim to Kaikoura took about 90-120 minutes and about half of the drive was right on the coast with beaches on one side of the road and mountains on the other. It was stunning!

Kaikoura is a small town of about 4,000 residents that sits on a little peninsula. The marine system offshore of Kaikoura is a rich habitat for marine mammals, including seals, dolphins, and whales. Historically, Kaikoura was a center for whaling and fishing. In the past 10-20 years, it has become a tourist destination, popular for whale watching tours. We didn't go on a whale watching tour, which basically guarantee viewing a whale, but we did see a small pod of dolphins jumping in the surf when we first arrived in town. We also saw thousands of seals, which the kids really liked.

Kaikoura is one of our favorite spots that we've visited in New Zealand so far.

View from the peninsula toward the Seaward Kaikoura Range that has peaks above 2,500 meters (8,000 feet)

The whole family

Seals taking in the morning sun (they were less than 100 feet from the parking area)

Alisa and Maya with sleepy seals in the background

This seal was waddling back to the water

Another view of the mountains

These rocky platforms were loaded with seals

Maya playing shy of the camera

The kids really enjoyed our hour-long walk on the beautiful trail at the tip of the peninsula

The trail crossed onto some farm land, so a staircase had been built to clear the fence

Maya in foreground and Alisa in the distance (the weather was perfect for our walk)

Max with a beautiful little bay in the background (there were seals everywhere on the rocky platforms along the water below)

double birthday

Reasons we needed yet another birthday celebration:

#1 Because of the time difference birthdays here in NZ happen almost a day ahead of when they would happen in the US. While Friday was May 14th in NZ, the kids weren't really born until May 14th in US, actually May 15th in NZ. (Yes, that means we are always one day ahead of you and I know the future.).
#2 Twins deserve at least one party each.

So, we invited over some friends on Saturday and I made more dog cupcakes,
and ridiculous amounts of pizza. Our place is pretty small and Lonnie suggested that we keep the guest list small, but I still made enough pizza for a small New Zealand army.

We let the kids run wild while we had a nice time hanging out with the grown-ups.