Archive for December, 2014

Bula from Fiji

Bula (hello) from Fiji!

On Tuesday, December 16th, the four of us flew to Fiji. Upon landing we were greeted by Fijians singing songs, shouting ‘bula’ in a friendly manner, and playing the guitar. After waiting in a non-air conditioned line for about 30 minutes we made it through customs and immigration. Man, the heat was so welcoming. Well, it was for me. It wasn’t as pleasure for the rest of the family, especially E. That boy can sweat! We stayed at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort, which was nice and a resort away from the port which is where the more expensive resorts are. All the staff, which of course were Fijians, were extremely welcoming and friendly. They also love babies and young children. I can’t even tell you how many kisses both boys received, especially C.

Fiji is a very interesting place. It’s a third world country where the rich have built massive, nice (and expensive) resorts along the nicer beaches and outlying islands. We definitely had mixed emotions about being in Fiji at one of the resorts.

We were only there for a few days so we weren’t able to do everything the country has to offer.  But we were able to explore Nadi, enjoy the beaches, and go snorkeling.


A proper Fijian welcome as we entered the airport.


The beach at Smugglers Cove Beach Resort.


It’s time to relax in the heat.


We spent numerous hours playing in the much anticipated ‘bath-water warm’ ocean!  Talk about a nice change from the cold beaches in New Zealand!


E enjoyed playing lali, the Fijian drums.


We booked a snorkeling/deep sea fishing trip with PJ Cruises and the guys allowed E to drive the sail boat.  Yes, he is really steering the boat. 


There is just something so adorable about a baby sleeping.


The deep sea fishing part of the trip was a success.  Two Spanish mackerel were caught.  Do you see the size of that fish?  It’s bigger than E!! (Note: Jeff didn’t reel in the fish)


The water was so clear.  It was absolutely amazing.  This is where we went snorkeling, right off Malolo Lailai Island.  In the middle of the ocean is a sandbar, which is only accessible during low-tide.  This is where E, C, Richard (he called himself our Fijian nanny – he was one of the members of the crew who stayed with us the entire time to help with the kids), and I played while Jeff was snorkeling.  Jeff and I had to take turns in the water.  I had my own personal snorkeling guide (Richard) and Jeff was able to  go snorkeling with the entire group.  The snorkeling here was so amazing.  The colors were so vibrant and the fish were really unique.  We saw a butterfly fish!  It seriously looked like a butterfly.  Jeff and I both agreed that it was better than where we went snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef.  Unfortunately, I cannot access our underwater photos at the moment as I didn’t pack the cord to connect it to the computer, but I will add some later.  


I love the relaxing nature of Fiji.


The flame trees stood out against the white sand and the crystal clear water.



After snorkeling we had a couple of hours to explore Malolo Lailai Island.  We were also able to participate in the free activities the island provides for their quests.  So Jeff decided to jump off the giant inflatable ocean slide.


Surprisingly, E had no issues with a hermit crab crawling around in his hand.


On the way back, E passed out on the boat.


Here is Richard and he is making our boys some amazing toys out of palm fronds.  Right after I took this picture, our boat passed another boat where a man was shouting (in Fijian of course) that his boat was sinking.  Richard ran to his rescue using a small dingy attached to our boat, but left him on the sinking boat.  We aren’t really sure what happened there.


One of the toys was a boat and the other was a flying bird.


Since there is no such thing as sleeping in with children, we were able to enjoy morning walks along the deserted beach.






Here we are waiting for a bus in Nadi.  We definitely rode in some shading means of public transportation while in Fiji.


My three men riding the bus (E is smiling?).  Then, the road randomly ended and we were driving on the beach….IMG_9703

 Our bus driving on the beach.


Along the way around Nadi on the bus, you were able to get a better sense of the ‘real Fiji”.



We spent some time exploring Nadi.  Hardly any of the shops were air-conditioned.  


More in Nadi.


The latest Fijian fashion trends.


This guy was showing E and C how to play the lali.


Thanks to the high humidity in Fiji, C’s already curly hair became ringlets.


Getting both boys to sleep on the airplane was a success flying over the Pacific. Getting C to stay asleep was a different story.  


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“Christmas is coming

Out came the tree

Dressed up in finery splendid to see”

Slinky Malinki Christmas Crackers by Lynley Dodd

Since it’s Christmas and summer here in New Zealand, this is what we’ve been up to lately.


Building dinosaurs at the beach with friends.  Unfortunately, most summer days here still require coats.


Walking a balloon dinosaur around Cathedral Square.  Hmm…there seems to be a dinosaur theme happening here.


Singing Christmas Carol at 6:30pm and it’s still bright outside! 

Meat Photo

Grilling burgers on the barbie.

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Today is C’s first birthday.  He is now 12 months old!

Corbyn 12 Months Old & 1 Year Old (10)

At one year of age, C is a very happy boy.  He has an amazing smile.  C is a very active one year old.  He enjoys crawling both real and army style.  The real crawl is over dominating his joy for the army crawl now.  He has started walking along the edge of the couch.  C enjoys climbing the stairs.  Part of our gate for the stairs doesn’t work properly and C has figured out that he can pull out the bottom bit and crawl under it to climb up the stairs.  Clever boy!

Playing in water is a hit.  C loves splashing.

C is very good at entertaining himself.  He babbles a lot!  He can say the words digger, ball, duck, water, bubble, and but (for button).  He loves people and I constantly get stopped in the stores by people commenting on his smile.

C is a notorious sock remover.  In fact, putting clothes on him is a battle every day.  I have a feeling he is going to be a naked 2 year old.  C is currently wearing anything from size 6 months to 12 months and New Zealand size 1.

This past week, C’s sleeping patterns have improved.  Most nights he is only waking once.

C still has eczema.  It’s now confined to his belly, arms, and legs.

Two teeth just started to cut through…yesterday.

C loves to wave at everyone.

C is only breastfeeding twice daily now.  He loves food and he will definitely inform you if he is hungry.

C is still taking two naps a day.  One at 8:30am and another one at noon.

Just like for E’s first birthday, we didn’t want to go all out.  We started the day off with a tram ride through the city.  C received a puppy dog toy in the mail from my parents.  The dog toy speaks in Spanish too!  YAY!  To celebrate C’s birthday we did a smash cake.  He was blasé about  it.  He didn’t love it or hate it.  Here are some photos:


Family photo on the tram.  C is about to fall asleep.


Corbyn’s cupcake.  We decided since we are leaving for the holidays we didn’t want any leftover cake, so we bought 4 festive cupcakes for C’s birthday.


C’s first taste.


C mostly enjoyed playing with the cupcake...


As well as a little confectionary kung fu.


E helped C open his birthday present.


As usual, our family photo.  It’s a shame E is burly.  

Here is E’s 12 Months/1 Year Old photo.

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C now breastfeeds twice a day – after he wakes up in the morning and when he goes to bed at night.

He is now doing real crawling about 75% of the time.

C’s sleep pattern has improved.  Most nights he is only waking once.

Today, C’s two bottom front teeth started their journey upwards.

This is C’s last weekly photo as he turns ONE tomorrow!!  Man, this year has gone by quickly.  Starting tomorrow, we will only take monthly photos of C.

Corbyn 52 Weeks Old (41)

Here is E’s 52 Week Old photo.

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Corbyn 51 Weeks Old (4)

C is such a happy boy.

At 51 weeks old, C can now climb the stairs.


C can climb all the way to the top of the stairs if I let him.  Ever since C discovered he could get on the first step, E’s interaction with C has increased greatly.  Also, E finds C rolling very funny.

C gives cuddles now.

He can say dog, although it’s not very clear.

He also decided to start real crawling.  It only took one day trip to the beach to make him change his mind to do real crawling.  We think that he didn’t, like the feel of the sand against his belly. He interchanges the real crawl and the army crawl.  He is doing both about 50% of the time.


C real crawling!

Here is E’s 51 week old photo.



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About a month ago, giraffes invaded Christchurch.  I’m serious too.

Unfortunately, the giraffes aren’t real.  Sculptures of 99 different giraffes have each been uniquely painted and placed throughout the city for an art exhibit known as Christchurch Stands Tall.  It’s an expression of hope to the locals as the city starts its rebuild in an upward manner.

Here are a few photos of my favorites from our ‘giraffe hunts.’


“Giraffa Spatiumnolovacuam”


E size giraffes in the Cardboard Cathedral.




“Reflecting Changes”


“Safety First”


“Queen of Hearts”


“The Mosaic”




“Building on our Memories”




I can’t remember this giraffe’s name.


“Bat Giraffe”

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Saturday, November 29th, it became time for another monthly photo of E.  Also, since it was a Saturday, C got his weekly photo at the same time.


E had his last Plunket appointment this past month.  He now weighs 12.5kg and is 91cm tall.

He is talking in incomplete sentences now.  For example, today he wanted me to  go pick up Jeff from work and E told me “daddy pick up work now please.”  Speaking of Jeff, E loves playing with him.

Yesterday morning I asked E “How did you sleep?” E quickly responded “in bed,” implying that he stayed in bed like he was supposed to.  Jeff and I found it hilarious.

Elijah 29 Months Old (18)

C is ‘fist-bombing’ Elijah’s monthly photo.


C can now say duck, ball, digger, and water.

Corbyn 50 Weeks Old (9)

C can dance!

Here is E’s 50 Week Old photo.

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