Archive for July, 2016

We will take weekly lamb photos with M, just like we did for the first year of both E and C’s lives.  Just bare with me if the photos are not published on time every week as I am currently in the middle of taking a master’s level class.

M had an amazing recovery sleep on Wednesday night. 12 hours straight!  Talk about beautifully unexpected.  I completely forgot how loud newborns are when they sleep.

Micah 0 Weeks Old (6)

0 weeks old on July 27, 2016




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About a month ago, Jeff and I…well it was mostly me…decided we wanted to have a home birth.  We based this decision on three variables.

  1. Home births in New Zealand are safe.  The midwifery practice in this country is outstanding and Jeff and I completely trust Jodi, our midwife.  Plus, my labor history has been uncomplicated.
  2. One of my worst life experiences was having to ride in a car to the birthing unit while in labor with E.
  3. Unsure if we would have time to make it to the birthing unit to deliver the baby.

Monday evening Jeff and I stayed up to watch a movie and ended up going to bed really late around 10:45pm (a very rare occurrence for us).  I had no inclination that baby would be arriving any time soon.

Around 11:45pm I was woken up with a contraction.  The contractions continued to be 10 minutes apart.  Oddly enough, in between each contraction baby was extremely active making me really uncomfortable and unable to fall back to sleep.  I didn’t bother waking up Jeff until C woke up around 2:30am.  When he walked back into our bedroom after helping C I said to him “by the way, I’m in labor.”  He then proceeded to sleep talk about how he needed to go into work that morning.  Around 3am we moved into the living room.  Jeff put down our tarp and our homemade birthing mat.

We were waiting for the contractions to become consistently 5 minutes apart before calling Jodi.  Unfortunately, that never happened.  At 4:24am my contractions were still 10 minutes apart.  Mind you, they were strong and about 1 minute long.  At 4:41am my waters broke and Jeff called Jodi and she was on her way.  In the midst the contractions I remember hearing Jeff say “Amanda you are really dilated.  I see baby’s head.  Breathe.”  I think he was talking to himself at that last bit.  M was born at 4:49am on Tuesday, July 26.  Jeff did a great job delivering M.  Jodi and the back up midwife, Liz, arrived shortly after M’s birth.

M weighed 3.31 kg (7 lbs 4oz) and was 53 cm long (21 inches).

I could have opted to go into St. George’s for recovery for a few days, but the timing with the boys waking up didn’t really work out.  So I just stayed at home and slept.

Here are some photos:


M with Jodi after being weighed, etc.


M and I napping before the boys woke up.


E and C meeting their new brother for the first time.




The boys received a love gift from M.  The boys really liked that M was so excited to meet them that he got them a gift first.

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Back in May the boys entered into a new relationship dynamic.  They now wind each other up over small petty things and get extremely upset about it.

It started while I was cooking tacos for our cinco de Mayo celebrations.  E said he wanted to see the moon.  It was difficult to see from the temporary apartment at the time, so I told E he could look at my painting on the wall because there is a moon on it. C proceeded to say “No, it’s not a moon,” greatly upsetting E.  I was curious to see how things were going to play out.  Unfortunately, I had to step in as things quickly turned into tears and hitting.

C really knows how to wind E up.  E falls into the trap every time too.  I try to explain to E to ignore C.  I’m sure we all remember hearing that when we were little, but it is easier said than done.


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I am now 39 weeks pregnant with Baby #3 and I had to share this photo.

39 Weeks Pregnant Baby #3 (2)

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Sorry for being a bit behind on the monthly photos of the boys.

C 28 Months Old (3)

C at 28 months old in April

Corbyn 29 Months Old (4)

C at 29 months old in May.

Corbyn 30 Months Old (10)

C at 30 months old in June.

C 31 Months Old (11)

C at 31 months old in July.

At 31 months old, C is a daredevil.  He seriously has no fear and wants to do what the big kids do.  As a result, he does things that he isn’t quite ready for yet.

His comfort is his blanket.

He sleeps in a big boy bed now and has since May when we moved back into our apartment.  He also hasn’t had a dummy since the beginning of January.  C no longer needs to take a nap during the day.  Although, if we go out in the afternoon, he will fall asleep in the car.

C is always doing something.  But, when he is doing something, he is very focused on it.  He loves to paint, draw, and color.

C is into pirates and paw patrol.

C will talk your ear off.  He talks in complete sentences.  He also is not shy whatsoever and will talk to just about anyone.

C has a strong range of emotions and can be aggressive when upset.

He seems to be excited about baby coming.  He pretends that ‘lambie’ and one of the stuffed pengiuns are a baby and he wraps them in his blanket and tells everyone to be quiet as baby is sleeping.

C really enjoys the book “Winnie in Space.”

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Jeff here.

A guy from work was moving back to Australia after being in New Zealand for 2.5 years. So we decided to have a ‘goodbye’ tramping trip. We decided to go to Devil’s Den Bivy which is located on Devilskin Saddle and from there climb Devil’s Rampart. We mainly wanted to do this trip based on its name. Unfortunately the guy who was leaving hurt his knee playing cricket so couldn’t go on the trip…so we went without him.

The track starts near the Lewis Pass walking up the Nina Valley. The walk by the Nina River was great and revealed some amazing deep clear pools that would make great day trips or camping trips to go swimming…in summer.

IMG_9456IMG_9467There were amazing clear deep pools like this one.

Once we made it to Nina Hut, the track split and we headed south towards Devilskin Saddle. The track turned into a route which was quite rough/rooty and somewhat steep. It was pretty slow going but we weren’t in a hurry. It took us about 5.5 or 6 hours to get to the saddle. The Devil’s Den Bivy was rebuilt in 2007 and was quite nice. There were two beds and three of us so I was on the floor. The water tank must have had a leak near the nozzle because it was completely empty. The journal said it was broken about a year ago. Luckily there is a small stream not far away to fill up but it probably dries up in summer.

IMG_9578Devil’s Den Bivy with great views.

IMG_9481IMG_9477Devil’s Rampart as seen from the saddle.

In the morning we set out to climb Devil’s Rampart, the top of which is about 500m above the bivy. The route has numerous bluffs and rock outcroppings so we had to determine a route. It was fairly steep but not technical. About 200m from the top, we finally found some snow. We could have gone around the snow but since we carried up our crampons and ice axes we put them on and went up the snow. It was really cloudy so we didn’t think we’d see anything but once we got to the top, the cloud cleared enough to get views to the south, west and north.

IMG_9484Navigating on the way up.

IMG_9494You still just see the Bivy if you squint.

IMG_9501Starting to get into the clouds.

IMG_9507Time to strap on the crampons.

IMG_9526This photo looked pretty epic.

IMG_9531The high peak of Devil’s Rampart

IMG_9551Views from the top.

On the way down we practiced self arresting with our ice axes.

IMG_9556IMG_9557IMG_9561We found a really cool frozen over tarn.

IMG_9562That is the steep valley that we came up…and went back down.

IMG_9572Pretty epic viewing point.

I was absolutely shattered by the time we got to the road and very relieved once in the car. We stopped at the Culverden fish and chips shop which is hands down the best fish and chips I’ve had in New Zealand. All in all it was a great weekend. Thanks Amanda for letting me go.

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E is now four years old!  It seems like yesterday he was a baby.

Elijah 4 Years Old (9)

At four years old, E still loves to cuddle me.  Every morning, after breakfast of course, he comes and cuddles next to me in my bed.  If I get up before he gets these cuddles, he requests us to return back to bed for our morning cuddle.  I, of course, say yes every time.

E not only recognizes his name, but he can also spell his name now.  Two weeks ago, I turned his name into a song and three days after I created it, he spells his name entirely on his own.  I think next we will slowly start working on writing his name.  It won’t be anything strict as I believe (with the backing of research) these early years are meant for playing and that formal learning is for much later.

His favorite color is green.

He has made new friends at preschool.  For the longest time it was just Kayleigh, Joel, and C, but now Christian and Angus are his friends.

His imagination play often includes crocodiles, monsters, pirates, and cooking (I think one of the most random items he has cooked for me was chocolate covered sauerkraut).

E is a gentle and shy boy.  He can get himself completely dressed.  He loves to do things for himself, which I encourage!  He also likes to clean things.  I wonder how long that liking will last?

Jeff and I threw E a birthday party this Sunday afternoon.  He loved having his friends over to play.


E opening his presents from his family back in the States.  He received some new books, stickers, a box of legos, goldfish, some new clothes, and a much needed new pair of gumboots.  He really wanted a functioning chimney for his birthay, but sadly, that was a bit impossible!


E is still into the solar system.  He even knows the order of the planets, including the dwarf planets.  It definitely made his day getting new gumboots, but solar system themed ones that light up, literally illumatinated his world.


E helped put his candles on his cake.


The final product.  E and C are both into Paw Patrol.  E enjoys saying “Chase is on the case.”  It’s a shame that due to our region, we cannot watch Paw Patrol on youtube.


Opening more gifts at his party.


Once everyone left, the boys just wanted to play with the gift from Joel and Kayleigh, which was a box full of trains and accessories.

Then, on his actual birthday, I surpised E with a birthday cake at his preschool.  Needless to say, he was extremely joyful about that!


E happy to see me arrive at preschool on his birthday.


All the kids sang E happy birthday, both in Maori and English.


Happy Birthday E!  I’m looking forward to see how you grow over the years to come.



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