Riley's 27 month update coming tomorrow...
We have one full day left in New Zealand, and then the next day we hop on the plane to California. I really wanted to do a little photo shoot of my little ones before we left, somewhat of a last hurrah photo shoot in New Zealand... well, of course, it didn't go exactly as planned, but when does it ever? We made a quick trip to the beach to start since the weather was actually pretty good! I think this might have been Jackson's first real trip to the beach where he got to explore (and eat) the sand, and dip his little feet in the (freezing cold) water. He wasn't that impressed. Riley really wanted to find crabbies, starfish, and dolphins.... yeah we didn't see any of the above.
I cannot get over the curls on this girl!!
We then headed over to the playground for a bit of fun, Jackson got to ride on the swings, and Riley looooved getting to push him and having him smash into her... And Jackson's hair these days is pretty awesome too...
I was determined to get ONE picture of my two little monkeys sitting together, and I DID IT. I should say WE did it, as Mark played a big role in getting children to sit still and smile... Riley was less than pleased with this little photo shoot as it interrupted her playground time, so she kept trying to run away. I think Mark was singing and dancing behind me to get them to stay still and laugh. I love that man, he will do anything to help me get a good photo.
One more day and then my kiwi babies are moving to the US. I am so excited, BUT also, so sad about the thought of Riley's little kiwi accent disappearing!! :)
Riley's 27 month update coming tomorrow...
Well, we moved out of our house over a week ago. It was bittersweet, that's for sure. That was the house where both our babies have grown up. Our first house we bought together. We put a lot of work into it, and it was a perfect little house for our family, so we were a little sad to be moving out. But, although we were sad to move out, we are ecstatic to be moving on to the next chapter of our lives.... Mark being finished with his PhD (soon, YAY) and moving back to the US (close to my family, YAY). So. so. excited.
Now, the last few days in our house we had hardly any furniture. Or toys. Or fun stuff. Riley was perfectly happy to run around, playing with the broom, and yelling and enjoying the echo that happens when you have hardwood floors and no furniture at all.
But mostly she loved putting every last remaining toy into the TV cabinet. She was "helping" me clean, I guess. Also found in there... packing tape, ear thermometer covers, fruit snacks, Jackson's pajamas, and a few screwdrivers. As I said, she was helping.
After we moved out of our house, we stayed with Mark's parents for about 5 days. Riley was in heaven. New place, different toys, a DOG to play with, and of course, Nana and Grandad to entertain her.
They live pretty close to the beach, but unfortunately the weather was pretty awful while we were there so we didn't get a chance to go. In fact, we did the opposite. Convinced Riley it was a good idea to go puddle jumping. That is, until we realized her gum boots had already been packed away and shipped to the US, so I tried to improvise with plastic bags. Needless to say her feet got very wet and she was not impressed.
I personally have never really been an animal lover. It's just not my thing. But Riley is just absolutely obsessed with dogs. She loves Nana and Grandad's dog Harvey. He is pretty unamused by her, but she thinks he is just the greatest thing ever. Especially when he hops up on the couch, she yells "Hey! What's he doing up there!" and then hops up right next to him.
It has definitely been interesting, these past 10 days. It's a really big change for these two kids... several moves, getting rid of their toys and books, watching their things get sold or packed up, schedules and routines totally messed up. Jackson had a bit of a rough time sleep-wise at first, waking up a TON and needing to be rocked to sleep every single time, although he was pretty happy during the day so you might not have known how shocking he was at night...
And Riley? Well, while we were at Mark's parents house she went to bed later than she's ever gone to bed, she was just absolutely wired!! It hit like 5pm and she just got all kinds of energy, running around, yelling, having fun, just crazy!! And of course, not sleeping in any later. And it seems that we've been paying for that lack of sleep ever since, our little two year old has been TOUGH work these past few days... Cute, but tough work.
On Monday we moved in to the hotel we are going to be living in for almost 3 weeks. It's... okay. It's a 1.5 bedroom apartment-style room, which means Mark, Riley and I share a room and Jackson gets the 1/2 bedroom, which is really just a glorified closet, separated from the loudest toddler ever by just a sliding door. Jackson has actually been doing remarkably well with his sleeping, all things considered. Riley does well at night, but it's a bit of a mission to get her to sleep during the day since she basically has to sleep in broad daylight.
We have just under 2 more weeks here. It's going to be a long two weeks, most likely. See, we are on the 4th floor, and yes there is an elevator, but there are a few sets of stairs before and efter the elevator, which makes getting up and down on my own with two babies rather tricky. Also, we are in the city, which means parking is never guaranteed. Soooo loading and unloading babies could potentially be quite a mission. But, it's only 2 more weeks, then we're back at Mark's parents' house for a few days, and then WE FLY TO THE USA!!!
We're trying to take advantage of our last days in New Zealand, which is a bit tricky since Mark is also frantically trying to write his thesis. But we did manage to take a quick trip to the zoo today, which was pretty fun. Exhausting, but fun. And of course, we asked Riley what her favorite part of the zoo was, and her answer? The playground. (There was an animal shaped slide at the zoo). Sigh. I was quite a fan of the monkeys, I must say. Look at the mama and baby monkey (bottom right mama is nursing her little baby monkey!).
Also, you might be wondering why some of the pictures look a bit... odd. We have really crappy internet, which means uploading photos like I normally would is not an option, so I had to resize these photos, and long story short, they are very small files and overly sharpened, so they look a little weird and different than the original photo. But oh well, you get the idea. This is longest my internet has worked in ages so I'm just going to go with it.
USA... 17 days and counting!!!
This past Sunday was father's day in New Zealand. And what better way to spend father's day than hanging out with the two cutest kids in the whole world?
Oh helloooo there fluffy hair!!! The boy has a permanent mohawk of fluff, it's pretty awesome. Riley was pretty much bald until about 16 months, so this whole having hair thing is new to us. :)
Speaking of fluffy... we have a little weekly tradition with Riley these days. Usually on Sundays we head out to a local cafe, Mark gets a coffee, and Riley gets to have a "fluffy" (frothed milk) in her very own little mug. She is absolutely obsessed.
May or may not come with a marshmallow... you be the judge...
The other thing Riley loves about this particular cafe is their selection of board games they have available. Mark is teaching her how to play tic-tac-toe, and she is slowly starting to grasp the concept...
"Tic-tac-toe! Three in a row!!!"
Also available? Checkers, which apparently is also called draughts, so that's what Riley calls it. My little kiwi girl is developing more and more of an accent and picking up new kiwi words and phrases daily. Amazing.
Now Jackson wasn't quite so lucky as to get a fluffy... but he got a nice delicious carrot instead. Seriously it's one of his favorite things. A nice cold hard carrot to chew on, I think it makes his little teething gums feel fabulous.
Also pretty high up there on his list of favorite things? Drinking from a cup. He's got that down.
And of course, our little cafe adventure wouldn't be complete without some snuggles with Nana.
I've been so absent in posting lately... we just shipped all our stuff across the world... 43 boxes, all personally packed by me!! Then we've been cleaning and touching up paint and getting rid of rubbish and packing and trying to get ready to move out in 2 days!! It's a bit chaotic, and Riley is definitely having a bit of a hard time watching all her things get sold/packed up/put away, but it will all be worth it in the end!! So once we're out of our house and finally have a few moments to relax, we'll be filling our last days in New Zealand with beach trips and zoo adventures and all kinds of fun things!
...we ship most of what we own to the US. Our house is a mess of boxes and stuff everywhere. We'll be living out of suitcases for a month. With only a handful of books and toys. And Riley keeps unpacking the things I pack. And Mark is working all hours frantically trying to finish his thesis. BUT. In all the chaos and mess, we still have time for fun...
Just not a lot of time for blogging. Especially since THIS is happening right now... snoring and all...
Night night friends, my 2 year old snuggle buddy awaits... I need someone to snuggle while my husband works late into the night/early morning!
So day 1 of our life in New Zealand begins! Our trip over was pretty uneventful actually, which is somewhat of a change for us. We made it to the airport in plenty of time, and we managed to have only one of our bags exceed the weight limit. Then of course we had to take stuff out and put it in some other extremely full bag, which was quite a task... lucky for us, the weight limit for each bag is NOT 50 pounds like we thought, but rather 32 kilograms (which translates to roughly 70 pounds I believe). And yes, one of our bags did weigh over 70 pounds. Oops.
Anyway, we said a sad goodbye to my mom and dad, and headed on to the airplane. We felt pretty lucky because there were no crying babies, no vomiting women, no broken TVs, so all in all, it was very successful. Although, we were sitting in front of possibly the loudest talking man in the whole world. Mark and I could barely hear each other talking over him, and we were sitting right next to each other! We even had to turn the headphone volume up as high as it would go, and even then we could still hear him blabbing away. But he fell asleep after a while, so we got some peace and quiet eventually.
Then our connecting flight was delayed a bit in Auckland because some idiot drove a truck into a plane. Uhhhhhh..... Like one of those airport workers driving around just accidentally rammed into a 747... not really sure how that even happens, but okay.
So now we are hanging out in Mark's parents' house, about to go shopping for some things for the new house! We get to move in next Thursday (the 13th) and we will upload some pictures so you all can see where we will be living!
Less than 6 weeks until wedding day! Things are getting crazier and crazier, as expected. It seems like an endless amount of meetings, cutting papers, gluing things, and inputting info into an excel spreadsheet. And Mark is doing an AMAZING job of sitting on the couch and cheering me on. But in the end it will all be worth it because the wedding day is going to be so much fun! Now if only we could get everyone to RSVP on time...