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Archive for November, 2012

5 Months Old (3)

“Why do I have to sit next to the lamb?”

5 Months Old (28)

“This is more like it!”

On Thursday, E turned 5 months old.  Overall, E is a very calm and relaxed baby.  He loves to smile, esp at women.  People often mention how smiley E is.  E is a chatter box!  He can grab at toys and put them into his mouth.  When on the floor, he can not only roll, but he can also rotate in a complete 360 degree circle.   If he is lying on his back, he can put his foot on the floor and lift up his butt and back completely off the ground and hold it for just a few seconds.  E is currently teething and isn’t enjoying it.

We haven’t started solids yet, even though every person seems to ask us about this.  After doing research, we are leaning towards doing the baby-led weaning method.   So that means, no rice cereal or puree foods.  If we go that route, E will eat what we eat and we will begin introducing solids when he is ready.

Here is E’s 22 Week Old Photo from today:

22 Weeks Old (3)

Caution:  Teething

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This photo makes me laugh every time I look at it.  E sure does enjoy bath time.

Nom Nom Nom

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19

“This is SO much fun, Mommy!”

Carolyn and E were enjoying each other.

Precious

E with Grandma and Grandpa

“I really want those keys!”

E with a kiwi.

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On the final day of our trip (November 16), we packed up the car and drove to the Mount John Observatory.  This was by far the most amazing look out we’ve ever seen before.  Once at the top, you have a complete 360 degree view of everything in the area. The Mount John Observatory has a University campus with several telescopes. It has been named the clearest night sky in the Southern Hemisphere.

After we were finished admiring the views, we drove over to Lake Tekapo to see the Church of the Good Shepherd and to grab a bite to eat.

The Church of the Good Shepherd

The view from inside the church.

A great location for a church!

On the way home, we stopped at a small, unexpected craft fair in celebration of Canterbury Anniversary Day.  Everyone in Canterbury had the day off, including Jeff, so it was a nice end to the trip.  Unfortunately, we missed the festivities going on in Christchurch, but the amazing things we saw completely made up for it.

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Today E is 21 Weeks Old!  Man, time is going by quickly!  I mean we are going on our 9 month of living in New Zealand!  E is a roly-poly, even though he only wants to roll from his back onto his belly.  Once he rolls that way, he sometimes gets frustrated with being on his tummy, yet, he refuses to roll back over.  He isn’t an ambi-turner yet.  He can’t roll left either.

Also, this week, E has started sleeping in his crib at night.  He has been taking daytime naps in the crib since he was 2.5 months old so the concept wasn’t new to him.  Compared to last week, E’s sleeping pattern has improved greatly!  Instead of waking every 2ish hours, he now is only waking up once around 4:30am.

On Tuesday E received his 5 months injections.  Just like the last time, he only cried while he was getting the shots, but once cuddled by me, he was fine.  Unfortunately, over the last two days, E has been sneezing a lot and had a runny noise.  Hopefully, nothing big will come of it.

Then on Wednesday, E and I went to the movies.  We saw Breaking Dawn Part 2.  I know, it’s not the greatest, esp considering it was E’s first movie (he hardly watched any of it though)!  In New Zealand, well, at least Christchurch, the movie theaters do a “spit the dummy” session.  A dummy is a pacifier.  So in other words, it is where moms can take their babies to the movies and not care if they are crying.  Of course, E started crying in the previews.  But, then he fell asleep and woke right as the battle was about to begin.  He was upset that I wouldn’t let him watch the screen.  There is just no need for him to see people ripping vampires heads off and lighting them on fire.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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On the fourth day (November 14th) of our trip, we drove back to Queenstown.  So nothing new happened there.  Once in Queenstown we explored the shops again.

On day five of our trip (November 15th) we drove from Queenstown to Twizel.  Along the way, we stopped in Wanaka.

Doug and Carolyn at Lake Wanaka.

Jeff, using his superhuman strength, had to save E from Wanaka’s Leaning Tower.

From Wanaka we drove to Twizel, where we were staying for the night.  Once we checked into our accommodation, we headed to Mount Cook. Mount Cook was Jeff’s favorite stop on the entire trip. We are definitely going back in the future.

The Ray gang on the way to Mount Cook with Lake Pukaki in the background.

Mount Cook.  The tallest mountain in New Zealand.

Then Jeff, E, and I decided to do a short hike while Carolyn and Doug rested.  We did the Tasman Glacier hike.  It was totally worth it!

Me with the Tasman Glacier.  Yes, there are chucks of ice floating in the lake below.

The view looking away from the Tasman Glacier.

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Day three of our trip: (Tuesday, November 13)

Bright and early on Tuesday morning the five of us started our journey to the Milford Sound located in the Fiordland National Park.  It’s about a 2.5 hour drive from Te Anau.  Not only is the Milford Sound amazing in all its majesty, but the drive to it is part of its awesomeness.

The Milford Sound isn’t actually a sound.  It was wrongly named by the discoverers.  Instead, it was carved by glaciers making it a fjord.  The Fiordland National Park is also misspelled since fjord is a Norwegian word.

Our 2 hour cruise of the Milford Sound didn’t start until 11:10am with Mitre Peak Cruises.  We chose Mitre Peak Cruises due to the fact that they had the smallest boat on the Sound, which allowed the skipper to get very close to the edge of the fiord.  Mitre Peak Cruises was also the only tour group that went all the way to the Tasman Sea.  Words nor pictures can really describe the beauty we saw, but here are some of our photos.

The stillness of Mirror Lakes reflects the magnificent mountains in the water below in the early morning.

Out of this world amazing.  Gunn Lake

The Homer Tunnel

The amazing view after emerging on the other side of the tunnel.

Jeff and E on the Milford Sound with Mitre Peak in the background.  Mitre Peak is the tallest sea cliff in the world at 1692m (5551 ft).

The whole Ray gang.

By looking at the boats in the distance you can see just how big these fiords are!

Seals soaking up the sun on a rock.

Stirling Falls.  This waterfall is twice the height of Niagara Falls.

We were fortunate to see two cute Fiordland penguins.

The Rays with the Mount Pembroke Glacier.

Lady Bowen Falls.  It’s 526 feet tall.

Priceless picture of E’s reaction to seeing himself in mirrors!

I hate sandflies!  The sandfly is kinda like a mosquito, but WORSE!

Jeff and I with pretty mountains.

The Kea, an alpine parrot, perched on top of our rental car just before he chewed up the door seal.

The Ray family at Gunn Lake on the way back.

Thankfully we had amazing weather because the Fiordland National Park is one of the wettest places on earth. Also, we were lucky that we went to the Milford Sound when we did because the road to the Milford Sound was closed that very afternoon due to a high chance of rock falls at the Homer Tunnel.  Apparently, due to the snow the rocky slope had become very unstable. We went back through the tunnel around 3:30pm just before it closed at 6pm. We read in the paper that geological engineers will be on the slope monitoring the rocks in the next few weeks. What a job!

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Day two of our trip: (Monday, November 12)

The next morning we woke up early to explore the tiny village called Arrowtown. Arrowtown, tucked away in a narrow, but deep valley, became an old gold mining town.  As you can see from the photo, Arrowtown is very quaint.  It reminded us of what you would see in a western film, but with a modern, tourist fibe.  In my opinion, it was the prettiest town we’ve seen in New Zealand so far.

Arrowtown

There is always time to enjoy feeding the birds.

Lake Hayes

Some of the views along the way to Te Anau.

The typical view once we got away from water.

Then we drove to the town of Te Anau to stay the night at the Holiday Park before heading off to the Milford Sound the next day.  Te Anau is the jumping off point to the Milford Sound because, being on the edge of Fiordland (yes, NZ spells Fjord with an i) National Park, it’s the closest place available.  There is a big lake in Te Anau called Lake Te Anau.  We took E down to the lake and he was completely mesmerized by the water moving.  He wouldn’t stop looking at it.  After the lake, we went into town to do some shopping!

In baby news, E had a Plunket appointment today.  He currently weighs 7.3 kg and is 66 cm long.  He is still in the 91st percentile for height and 50th percentile in weight.  Also today, Doug and Carolyn headed back to the States.  After dropping them off at the airport, E cried for the remainder of the day.  We miss them already!

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