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Archive for March, 2013

Easter Holiday Plans

Today the three of us are driving down to Dunedin for our Easter holiday.  The plan is to spend some time in Dunedin drive through Oamaru to see the blue penguins, and then stay a few days in Mount Cook.   We should have free Wi-fi at our accommodations so we hopefully will post about our trip every night.

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A New Nap Challenge

Last night, E was whiny in his bed after we put him down, which wasn’t normal for him.  So I went into his room and I found him just like this:

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Needless to say we finally rose the crib’s bar.  Today during nap time he stood up over and over again.  The problem is that E doesn’t know how to get back down so he just cries for help.  Thus, we are entering a new world of nap challenges.

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Here is this weekends recap:

On Saturday, Jeff, E, Amie, Mitchell, and myself set out to hike to the top of Mount Herbert.  Mount Herbert is the tallest mountain on the Banks Peninsula at 919 meters (3015 ft) tall.

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Mount Herbert is the tallest mountain to the right.

We went up the Mt Herbert Track, starting in Diamond Harbor at about 200m (650 ft).  The trail followed the ridge all the way to the top.  The going upwards was steep, but it was very gradual, making it a bit easier to manage.  The entire trail is on private land that meanders through cow and sheep pastures.  Signs were posted along the way, but they were a bit vague.

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Taking a breather.

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About half way up the mountain.

The hardest part of the trail is towards the end just before you reach the summit, but all five of us made it to the top!  Once there the views were amazing.  It was an extremely clear day so we could see all of the Banks Peninsula, the city of Christchurch, the Alps, and even Kaikoura in the distance.  I had read online that you could see Akaroa from the top as well, but that information is incorrect.  There were however great views of Lake Ellesmere and the Pacific Ocean as well.  We stopped to eat lunch on top, giving E some time to crawl in the tall grass under the shade of a solar panel.

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E fell asleep on the way up.

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The tower on top of Mount Herbert.

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Wearing Mitchell’s hat.

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The Rays on top of Mount Herbert.

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More views from the top.  Can you see the outline of a heart?

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Cool mountain view from the top.

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Closer photo of the top of Mount Herbert.

After breaking for lunch on top, we started our journey back to the car.  Before we set out that morning for this hike we decided to go down a different way to see a waterfall so we had a car at both points.

On the way down, we decided to do the loop and come out at Orton Bradley Park.  This trail hasn’t been well maintained since the earthquakes and had become overgrown so we missed a fork in the trail and ended up on the wrong side of the valley.  When we discovered our mistake, disappointment showed in all our faces due to the prospect of having to hike back up a good portion of the mountain.  But, we ran into a possum trapper who said the way we were going would lead us to Orton Bradley Park.  He informed us to keep following the trail that we were on, which randomly ended, and when we get to a fence just follow the pasture down to towards the water.  Well, there were so many fences up there that the trappers advice was a bit ridiculous.  We ended up cutting through steep pastures, with uneven ground, as well as marshland.  Some how we found a trail after about two hours.  Jeff and Mitchell wanted to just go straight down the steep hill, but I put my foot down and said we needed to stick to the trail.  Sticking to the trail was the best decision made on our descent (says the person who wrote the post…comment by Jeff).  After finding the trail we were back at the car in an hour.  While Jeff went and Mitchell went to get the car, Amie, E, and myself enjoyed laying on the ground.  All in all it was a good trip with some added adventure.  Once we arrived back home, we enjoyed falafels for supper!  Yum!

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E thrilled about being in the grass.

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Crawling in the grass.

On Sunday, following church, we attended the 150th annual meeting of Oxford Terrace Baptist Church.  We skipped out a bit early to meet up with Kit, Heather, and their friend Jordan in Hagley Park.  While there we played frisbee and a card game Citadels.

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38 Weeks Old (1)

38 Weeks Old

Wow, E is 38 weeks old today.  That’s how long he was in my belly!  E is now both crawling and commando crawling 50% of the time.  I think he will convert completely to just crawling soon.  One of E’s favorite activities is for me to crawl towards him on the floor.  He gets a kick out of it.  E loves price tags on clothes and toy cars.  I’ve also successfully got E to nurse every three hours!  When I started typing this post this morning while E napped, I was writing how E has been pulling himself up on everything that is under 1.5 feet tall this week, with the exception of the couch.  Well, guess what!  E pulled himself up with the use of the couch today.  Here are some photos:

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Almost there!

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    “OOoo, this is where mommy hides the remote.”

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“Where did I put that blue car?”

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Marmite.  Marmite.  Marmite.  For all you non-kiwis out there, marmite is a dark brown spread made from yeast.  Here in New Zealand, it is most commonly eaten on toast along with butter.  So why am I talking about Marmite?  Well, today Marmite is back on the shelves in New Zealand.  It has been a year since New Zealanders have enjoyed such luxury as marmite due to the Christchurch earthquakes.  When we arrived in New Zealand a year ago ‘Marmageddon’ (the lack of Marmite) was all over the news and how people were coping with using Vegemite.  We have tried Vegemite and Marmite and it will not be something in our household!

Here are some photos from the last few weeks.  IMG_1614

Jeff and E.

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E giving kisses.

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Enjoying his walker.

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Happy boy.

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E reading a magazine upside down.

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Swinging at the park.

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This week E actually crawled, but he definitely prefers the commando crawl because he is faster at it.  Also this week, E started pulling up on things around him (mostly me when I am sitting or laying on the floor).

37 Weeks Old (13)

Happy (early) St. Patrick’s Day!  I also want to point out that E’s cloth diaper matches his outfit!

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On Saturday we decided to stay close to home and do the Crater Rim Track in the Port Hills.  The Crater Rim Track follows along cliff edges high above Governors Bay, offering an amazing view of the Bay and a panorama of Lyttelton Harbor.  Signs posted at the beginning and throughout the track reminded us that the track was closed due to rock fall (earthquake related).  However, we chose to ignore these signs and as we walked along the track we found that the trail was still well-worn, showing that others didn’t let the signs stop them either.  We started our hike at the Sign of the Kiwi located at the top of Dyers Pass.  The Sign of the Kiwi is one of the buildings built by Harry Ell in 1916/1917.  Our destination was the Sign of the Bellbird, another building built by Harry Ell.  The track was extremely easy since it followed the ridge.  The track was also covered in blackberry bushes, which of course, we devoured as many as possible (and even packed a water bottle full to bring home).  This was the first time E ate blackberries and he loved them.  When we arrived at the Sign of the Bellbird a hen party (bachelorette party) was being thrown in the shelter.  Harry Ell choose a great spot to build a house because it faced the Canterbury plains with views of the alps, then on the other side of the road behind it was a panoramic view of governors bay. The track was about 4km each way.

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Family shot along the trail.

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Cool view with a hang glider.

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The Sign of the Bellbird

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View of Governor’s Bay from the Sign of the Bellbird

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