Archive for May, 2015

Today, E is one month away from being 3!

Elijah 35 Months Old (1)

At 35 months old, E loves to sing songs.  He can sing every song on one of our cds.  He also can sing the ABCs.  I find it very interesting that we have 4 toys that sing the ABCs American style (saying z) and four days ago we rented a toy from the Toy Library that sings the ABCs British style (saying zed) and E chose to sing the ABCs the British way all on his own.   E has also gotten better at expressing his words to C when he doesn’t like what C is doing.  Ie, “No touching please, C” and so forth.

E still likes cuddles, but it’s becoming less and less as the months come and go.  (So sad!  I know!)

E loves being outside.  If I ask him what he wants to do he always says “go to playground.”

E can curl his tongue.

He can also hop…well, sort of.

While I’m driving around, E really doesn’t like the idea of a red light and insists that we keep going.  He completely understands that red means stop and green means go.  I think he just likes to keep driving around without stopping.

E knows to look both ways before crossing the street.  I know this is a bit strange, but we always use cross walks that tells you when it’s safe to walk everywhere around town.  Since we moved, to go to church we just cross in the middle of the street.

Books are still a hit. He seems to be into books about animals lately.  He absolutely loved the book Tadpole Rex that we checked out from the library.  I really liked reading it too!

Any form of transportation is also a hit with E.  He is very proud of his bike.

E has started talking to anyone really.  We are starting to talk about strangers.

On Thursday this week (May 28th), E was measured and weighed at C’s Plunket appointment.  E now weighs 14kg and is 96cm long.

E is a very sweet boy.






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Sweet hugs for C.


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Communication via art has been around for ages. Today, the various walls on buildings throughout the city of Christchurch have been covered in what is known as Street Art.  The global Street Art phenomenon sprang out of the graffiti boom in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s.

A couple of weeks ago, we attended a Street Art Festival known as Spectrum.  It was definitely one of my favorite art exhibits I’ve ever seen.


Tilt, a French artist, is known for painting a furnished room 50% white and 50% a myriad of tags and colors.




Art by the DTR Crew


“Larger Than Light”


I found the row of giant cans of spray paint an appropriate end to the exhibit. 

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Jeff here. I organized a trip this past weekend to walk to Hawdon Hut in Arthur’s Pass National Park and to do a day trip to Tarn Col from there. A group of 5 of us left Christchurch a little after 8am on Saturday for the Southern Alps.

The walk is about 8.5 km and follows the Hawdon River to the hut. You cross the main river three times and the East Fork of the Hawdon once.

When we started the walk, we came to our first crossing of the Hawdon River about 100m from the car. It was a fairly difficult one so we linked arms and went through without issue. The deepest part was about up to my wallet in my back pocket (next time I’ll put my wallet up).


I had to put the camera up for the second half of the river crossing so we could link together.

I decided to try the Kiwi way of tramping, shorts with polypropylene thermals underneath and I didn’t remove my boots for the crossings. There were numerous small crossing along the way which ensured that my waterproof boots stayed full of water.

Mitchell and his mate met us on the other side of the Hawdon River.



Thomas decided to strip down to his undies to do all the crossings.


Then he showed his dedication.

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The keyword of the day was ‘stream-crossings’


I tried to do a handstand to get the water out of my boots…it didn’t work.


The very wide Hawdon Valley.



Another crossing but a great photo.

We made it to the hut by 2pm. We had a bit to eat and decided to do the day hike that afternoon.

IMG_6038 - Copy View from the hut.

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Pouring the water out of my boot.

We continued up the valley towards Walker Pass. We got to the pass and we realized we wouldn’t make it to Tarn Col before the sun went down so we just started straight up a ridge to see how high we could get. On the way back we decided to count the stream crossings above your boots from Hawdon Hut the Walker Pass…we counted 17 (34 for us since we went there and back). Luckily we had our headlamps because it was dark on the way back but made it safely back.




The tarn at Walker Pass.


The night sky was clear and beautiful.

On Sunday, we headed back to the car (Oxford Terrace church van). Once we got there, we couldn’t get the car to start. We tried and tried until Keith and I decided to walk to the main road and hitchhike to Arthur’s Pass where we could get cell service.


The walk to the main road, followed by some hitchhiking.

I called Amanda and arranged for her to pick us up. Just after the call, the church van pulled up…they had got it started. Phew! I can’t imagine the tow bill for that. We made an obligatory stop at the Sheffield Pie Shop and got home by 6.


Best pies in New Zealand.

All in all it was a great trip although I wish Amanda was with us.

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Sorry for the delay.

Here is C’s 17th month old photo taken on May 14, 2015:

Corbyn 17 Months Old (9)

At 17 months old, C is walking 50% of the time.

He can say lots of words.  Some new ones off the top of my head are woof, jump, mama, yes, eeee (for his stuffed monkey), plane, more, door, koala, stairs, ribbet (as in frog), hug and kiss.

C enjoys playing with stuffed animals.  Reading books is a big highlight throughout the day.  Driving diggers, cars, and trains never gets old.  C can also kick (aka knock over while walking) an object.

C has four new teeth.

C is also transitioning from a morning nap into an afternoon nap.

Here is E’s 17th Month Old post.

Here are some photos of C over the last month:













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Elijah 34 Months Old (40)

A cheesy smile.  E was very happy to be home after a long car ride.  April 29, 2015

At 34 Months Old, E is still in a narrative stage of life.  He likes to let me know that he is running, while he is running, and so forth.  He is also in a stage where he likes to tell you what he does and does not like.

E can now completely sing “BaBa Black Sheep” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”  He just started singing these songs completely one day.  No practice or anything.

When Jeff leaves for work, E doesn’t want Jeff to kiss him anymore.  E wants a fist bump from Jeff instead.  E says “I don’t like Daddy kisses.  I like fist bumps.”

E went fishing for the first time.

Here are some photos from the month:











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Over our extended ANZAC weekend (April 24-29), we drove to the Marlborough Sounds.  Unfortunately, the weather looked awful with the remnants of a tropical depression hitting the entire country.  But, we didn’t let that stop us!  In fact, we received every type of weather imaginable with the exception of snow.


The Marlborough area is known for its delicious wine.  I believe it; the place is covered in vineyards!

We stayed at a beautiful bach (a kiwi holiday home) located adjacent to the Queen Charlotte Track.  It had a lovely wood burning fireplace and when you could see, the bach offered amazing views of the sound.


The boys playing next to the fireplace while the rain bucketed down outside.


The boys were being silly one evening carrying balls around in their mouths.


We went on a few walks around the bach just to release some cooped up energy.

Jeff was able to go fishing quite a bit.  He was very thrilled about that.  Over the entire trip, he caught ten fish, two of which we ate.  I must say, Jeff’s bad luck in regards to fishing has finally ended.  It all started when Jeff and I had begun dating and he took me fishing (a lot) and from our first fishing trip, I caught all the fish and Jeff couldn’t catch a thing.  Jeff is very pleased with this turnaround!  E really enjoyed fishing with Jeff.  E told me he wanted Jeff to catch a pilot fish to clean his teeth in reference to an Octonaut episode.


I am really surprised how excited E was about fishing.  Also, his smile on command has progressed.  He just needs to work on opening his eyes now!


The bach had private access to the rocky beach.  So while we waited for fish to bite the squid bait, we threw rocks into the water.


“Look, Mommy. A rock.”  Also, the background is the same view the bach had.


Jeff teaching the boys how to fish.


The one time I held the pole, I taught E how to reel in the hook.


C enjoyed the beach as well.  The way he kept popping up from this log reminded me of a chipmunk.


C is cute.


E was very proud of this fish.  You know, with all that hard work he put into catching the fish…


Then C proceeded to throw rocks at the fish.



The first two fish Jeff has caught in about 7 years!

On one of the days where it absolutely poured with rain, in our need to get out we visited the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center, a World War One airplane museum.  It was a great museum with a good and logical set up.  As you walked through the exhibit, you started with airplanes from the beginning of the war and gradually you progressed and saw the innovation and improvements made to airplanes as the war continued.  The boys loved the exhibit since airplanes were everywhere you looked.  There were only a few minor set up things that bothered me (I used to work in a museum and I’m a bit picky about certain things), but a museum should have their facts correct.  The issue arose in the All Black exhibit located in the entrance where two sentences in separate paragraphs stated two drastically different figures of the kiwi death toll from the war.  The two sentences read:

“A staggering 84% of the 59,981 New Zealander soldiers killed in World War One were casualties of the Western Front.”

“Here in New Zealand 10% of the population served overseas with 18,000 killed and 40,000 wounded.”

So how many kiwis died in World War One?  Was it 18,000 or about 60,000?  When I asked about the two sentences because I wanted to know the correct figure, I was immediately told “there are a lot of spelling mistakes on that exhibit.”  Finally, after asking three different employees I found which figure was correct.  It turns out that the correct answer is that 18,000 kiwis died in the war, not 60,000.  Regardless of the incorrect facts, I still would recommend this museum.  Although, the museum shouldn’t try to justify the mistake as correct and just fix it.


The Etrich Taube was first flown in 1910 and has a distinction of being the most successful bird-like airplane ever built.  One of the features of the Etrich Taube, which was replaced and gone by the end of the Great War, was its ability to warp the wings by twisting the entire mainplanes to bank the airplane to the left or the right much like a bird.


I found the Airco de Havilland DH-2 airplane, also known as fighter, to be very fascinating since the engine and propeller is in the middle of the airplane instead of on the front.  The goal of switching the configuration was to produce an aircraft that could fire a machine gun forwards without the risk of hitting the turning propeller.  The first DH-2s arrived in France in 1916 for squadron service.


The Breguet 14.A2 became very popular during the last years of the war resulting in the production of 5,500 (both 14.A2 and 14.B2) before the war ended.  This aircraft was used mostly for day and night bombing.  The thing I liked most about this airplane was the mini-propeller next to the pilot.  According to one of the staff members, the mini-propeller generates electricity for the control panel, which apparently is an innovation still used today.


The Curtiss MF Flying Boat created and perfected by Glenn H. Curtiss.  Elijah really liked the idea of an airplane being a boat too.  The best of both worlds for a toddler who loves both boats and airplanes!


Jeff really liked the Fokker DRJ airplane.


The Pfalz D.111 is described as one of the prettiest aircraft designs to have emerged from the First World War.


A poppy display in honor of the men who fought at Gallipoli 100 years ago on April 25, 1915 with the Australian New Zealand Army Crops (ANZAC).  Visiting the museum was a great reminder of the lives lost during the Great War.

Back at the bach, we didn’t let the rain stop us from hiking a little section of the Queen Charlotte Track.  It was our first time hiking in the rain and we stayed dry for the two hours we were out there, with the exception of E’s feet.  Needless to say, we might hold off a while for any more rain walks.


The view from Hilltop. Do you see the Interislander sailing through the sound?


More views from the top.


E really enjoyed standing on this stump.


What studs on the stump!

Of course, the day we drove back to Christchurch, it was sunny!  The boys did extremely well in the five hour car ride.  One thing I discovered on this trip is that books entertain them in the car way longer than toys.  I must say, the rain made for a very relaxing trip as we mostly sat by the fire and listened to the rain patter against the metal roof.

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