New Zealand: Lake Taupo

the baloney bug

From Wellington, we drove four hours north to Lake Taupo.  Adelaide and I spent our days by the lake while Jon, my mom and brother in law took a day to hike an active volcano.

Good for them.

The sand around the lake was full of pumice stones, so while they looked like massive rocks, Adelaide could easily pick them up and throw them.  The pumice floated, so she’d make me go out and retrieve each piece so she could throw it again.

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the baloney bugv

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug We may have accidentally gotten ourselves locked into the upstairs portion of the house, while the guys were out hiking.

Luckily we had all the kids with us.

And it was time for happy hour.

While we were stuck upstairs baby Savannah was so close to rolling over, so we were huddled around her with our cameras out, cheering her on.  We turn around for one second and she rolls onto her belly with no one watching.

Poor second child.

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New Zealand: Wellington

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We went to one of the Wellington beaches (there are too many to count) the day after Jon arrived.  Adelaide was so excited and wouldn’t let him out of her sight.  When we left the house, the weather was perfect, and by the time we got to the beach it had gotten quite chilly.  The kids still had fun digging in the sand and having a picnic on the beach.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Adelaide plopped herself down on a towel with a piece of sausage in her hand, and was just chomping away at it.

That kid.

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New Zealand: Playgrounds

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We went to some seriously incredible playgrounds while we were in New Zealand.  Adelaide is adventurous (to say the least) and is not afraid to climb high and swing fast.  I’d never seen some of the pieces of equipment, and we often found ourselves having even more fun than the kids.

While we were there Adelaide also found her sense of fashion.

Um, the socks and the shoes were all her.

The rainbow sunglasses were on rain or shine.

She also magically learned her colors while we were in New Zealand.  One day she just knew them.  Every single one.  She started trying to say her name for the first time, and magically poop potty trained herself.  Every single poo was in the toilet.

Then we got home and she was like “Nah, I’m good, just change my diaper.”

I’m letting her take the reins with potty training and have been trying not to push it.  We just started a rewards system when she goes on the potty, but so far she’d rather forfeit the rewards and go in her diaper.

Le sigh.

She is very opinionated about what she wears.  I definitely thought I would have more time to pick out her clothes, but now when I shop for her I find myself thinking, “Is this her style?  Is this something she’ll like?”

Basically if it’s pink and has a heart on it, she’ll like it.

She’s incredibly opinionated about her shoes, often times shoving her foot in a shoe she’s long since outgrown.  Last week she found a pair of shoes that I bought on sale at the end of the season, still too big for her feet, but insisted on wearing them.  By the end of the hour she had red marks on her feet from where they were rubbing, but she still insisted on wearing them.  Luckily I had planned ahead and brought her comfy shoes to switch into, which she finally and reluctantly agreed to wear.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I joke that our very opinionated child is the classic first born.

And classic only child.

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New Zealand: Wellington Botanic Garden

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In February Adelaide, my mom and I boarded a plane for New Zealand.  And then we boarded two more.  Twenty four hours, a trip across the International Dateline and into the Southern Hemisphere, and viola!  We were there.

The longest of our 3 flights (13 hours between LA and Auckland) was surprisingly easy.  It left about midnight our time, and by that time Adelaide was exhausted.  She fell asleep soon after we took off and woke up a good 9 hours later.

We were in NZ the entire month, strategically planning to spend the coldest month here during the warmest month there.

And hot damn, it worked.  Do you know how much snow the East Coast got??  I was not sad to miss that.

Jon was able to join us for the last two weeks of the trip, and we were just a tiny bit glad to see him.

My sister now has two daughters, Siena who (at the time) was 2.5 years and Savannah who was 4 months.  Adelaide was straight up smitten by her cousins.  She idolized Siena and adored Savannah.  Savannah was the first baby Adelaide’s ever really been around, and she couldn’t get enough.

She wanted to “hold” Savannah, give her kisses, hug her (um, crush her), touch her toes, help put on her shoes, give her toys.  She loved the baby.  She couldn’t say Savannah, so she would scream “BABY” in her face.

Over.

And over.

Even now, months later, when Adelaide is upset and nothing will calm her, I’ll ask her if she wants to see a video of Siena and Savannah, and instantly she’s agreeable.  I just love how she loves them.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Is that a mom who has everything under control, or what?  I was so impressed with how Merridith seemed to seamlessly transition from one kid to two.  I know it didn’t happen quite like that, but she made it look easy.

She had a fun play date or story time or adventure planned for us every day.

And got us back in time for nap.

On the one day we were cutting it close and Adelaide was falling asleep in the car, Merridith managed to keep her awake until we got home.  Even I had given up on nap that day, so I was certainly thankful for my supermom sister saving the day.
the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug We certainly aren’t close geographically, but I’m so glad for technology keeping us close.  That Adelaide gets to see and talk to her cousins, share milestones and birthday celebrations.

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Disney

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I’ve obviously been a little bit MIA from the blog world for a while (um, months?) and honestly just keep it alive because it’s the easiest way for me to document our lives for myself and my family.  Jon edits all the photos that get posted here, and he’s been swamped.

We took this trip to Disney over Thanksgiving weekend.  It was literally 2 days after we signed the contract on our house, so in the midst of a trip to Disney we were getting approved for a mortgage, having the house property surveyed, etc etc.  A little bit stressful.

Then you know, we bought a house, moved into a house and spend every spare second tending to said house.  Oh and a toddler.  And dog.

Now that it’s summer, ohmygod, the gardens.  They’re gorgeous but I have no idea what the heck I’m doing.  I’m constantly googling and youtubing and texting my mom questions.

Jon’s also been traveling more than ever.  He’s been gone more weeks and weekends than he’s been home.  So now that we’re on a little vacation we can finally catch up on pictures… of other vacations.

While in Orlando, our friends Matt and Jessica hosted us.  They had recently moved from New York to Orlando and were amazing hosts.  Over our long weekend they took us to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom.

We started letting Adelaide watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse a few weeks before our trip to get her excited.  Our main goal for the trip was to meet Minnie, which we accomplished on our last day there.  We met Donald first, and she was TERRIFIED of him.  Then we worked our way up to meeting Goofy and Daisy and finally Minnie.  She was tentative, but excited.
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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

She would have spent all day in the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” playground if she could.  I remember playing in that same park as a kid.  Ah, memories.

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the baloney bug With Uncle Matt looking at the monkeys at Animal Kingdom.

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the baloney bug Um, can you tell from my hair that it was just a little bit humid?

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

hugs for Daisy

the baloney bug

Thanks so much to our friends for being such amazing hosts.  I’ll be back to the blog in hopefully less than six months with my next post.

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Adelaide!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I can’t believe a whole year has gone by since we celebrated your first birthday.

Two years since I sat in that hospital room, staring down in disbelief at the precious child in my arms.

That she was mine.

That you were mine.

You’ve changed so much in the last year.  Heck, in the last month.  All of the sudden you were speaking in sentences and knew all of your colors.  You started saying your name (although you put an L in front of it, so it sounds more like “Ladelaide”).

Your dad and I are amazed at how much of a girly girl you are.  You started requesting to wear hair bows, so I had to go out and buy you some.  You insist on wearing dresses and don’t even get me started on shoes.  You know which ones you want, and no others will do.  So help me if I try to convince you that mary janes are in fact, not practical, for the beach.

You quickly determined that purple is your favorite color, and if there is a purple option, that is what you must have.

You’ve been to seven countries (and both hemispheres) and you travel like a champ.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

You are silly and smart and I am so lucky to be your mama.  Happy 2nd birthday, my love.

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Big Sur

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The drive between Monterey and Santa Barbara was beyond gorgeous.

And long.

We do car trips pretty regularly, but this was one of the longest we’d been in the car at one time.  We left during Adelaide’s nap time hoping to get a long stretch of the road under our belt before she woke up.

Forty five minutes.  That’s how long she slept on our 6 hour journey.

The first part of the trip we were smitten by the breathtaking views.  But then the kid got fussy and mama had to pee and why is this road so twisty?

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taking pictures with a toddler is fun

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

waving hello to the ocean

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

We ended up stopping at Hearst Castle along the way because it was one of the only stops during the entire trip.

I paid $7 for a slice of cheese pizza.

Even though the ride was long (and everything with a toddler seems ten times longer), I’m so glad we decided to drive.

And for the wine when we got there.

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Monterey

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Jon needed to be in Los Angeles the week after we were in San Francisco, so instead of flying we decided to drive down the coast via the scenic route.  We chose to have overnight stays along the way in Monterey and Santa Barbara.  Unfortunately we only got one night in each place, so by the time we arrived it was time for dinner and then bedtime for Adelaide, so we didn’t get to explore very much.  We had to leave fairly early the next morning to get on the road to our next destination, so not much time for the sites.

The only thing I really wanted to do in Monterey was see the sea lions (I remember them from a trip there as a kid), but the first place we went turned out to have a whopping zero sea lions.  We were literally on our way out of town when a quick search suggested a nearby pier might have some sea lions.  As we’re walking to the end of the pier we were still unsure if we’d walk away without seeing any once again.  Then I heard a sound off the side of the pier and we all looked over to see two sea lions snuggling on a rock.  We were just a few feet above them, and I would have been happy if that’s all we got to see.  It was pretty awesome to see this beautiful creature so close up.

We kept walking to the end of the pier where we saw hundreds of sea lions.  They were sleeping on rocks, climbing all over each other, playing in the water.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

They were also right up against the fence.  See that tail sticking out?

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Yea, Adelaide did too.

the baloney bug the baloney bug

 

Our next stop was Santa Barbara, which I literally have zero pictures of.  We only got to see a tiny bit of the town, but I would seriously move there in a heartbeat.  We stayed at The Canary hotel, which I can’t recommend enough.  After driving six hours with a toddler we walk in and the front desk staff asks if we’d like a glass of wine.

And also, the wine reception starts in fifteen minutes.  God bless you, child.

Also worth noting is the dinner we had a few blocks from the hotel, at Pascucci.  That was some good Italian.

Seriously.  I dream about it.

Regularly.

 

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Hotel Room Chronicles

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By now Adelaide has spent quite a bit of her life in a hotel room.  It’s not terribly different from our everyday lives, except when I leave to run errands I get to come back to a clean room and a bed that’s been made.  The main downside to hotel living is that once your kid goes to bed you have to be QUIET.  We’re used to sleeping in the same room as her since we live in a one bedroom, but we aren’t used to tiptoeing around her after she’s down for the night.

Jon’s started to look for hotel rooms that have a separate living space so we have a space to go once Adelaide’s asleep.  After staying at a few hotels that didn’t have a separate living space and dragging the desk chair over to the corner next to whatever other random chair might be in the room outside the bathroom isn’t ideal.  Plus I’m sure housekeeping wonders what the heck we’re doing.  Having a space with a couch to crash is definitely preferred.

One of Adelaide’s current favorite “songs” is “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”.  She’ll stand on the bed and wag her finger “no” while she starts jumping up and down.  I couldn’t resist getting my camera out and snapping a few photos while she played around.

(See past hotel photos of a teeny tiny Adelaide here and here)

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I just love this little girl’s excitement over the little things.  I pray she always has a fun loving spirit and a kind heart.

And that she won’t fall off the bed.

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San Francisco Sightseeing

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Even though we were in San Francisco just a year ago, our trips were drastically different.  Last year Adelaide was a baby and couldn’t even sit up, and she had no opinions on what we did.  I shopped and ate out and browsed the Farmer’s Market.  I drank wine while she slept peacefully in the stroller.

This year was drastically different because toddlers have much louder opinions than newborns.  We were staying in the Union Square area, which is touristy and doesn’t have a ton for little kids.  So while Jon was at work one day I decided to take the cable car up to Ghiradelli Square.  I unfortunately don’t have any photos of that ride because it’s hard to take a selfie on a very crowded cable car while babywearing a toddler.  (Seriously, thank goodness I didn’t decide to try to bring the stroller on the cable car because that would have been a disaster.)

We got off the cable car one stop early at Lombard Street so I could snap a couple of photos.  Except I didn’t take into account that the sidewalk that runs along Lombard Street is made up of a million stairs.  Stairs that my toddler thinks she can run down once I took her out of the carrier.  I kept putting her in place to take a photo and before I could get the camera to my eye she had run up a few stairs.  So I tried a couple of times before finally giving up and walking the rest of the way to Ghiradelli.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

We sat down to share a brownie sundae, which despite what these photos may depict, Adelaide barely touched.  She had maybe two bites of the ice cream before refusing to eat any more.  Wouldn’t even touch the brownie.  So I was forced to eat it on my own.

The things a mother will do for her child.

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We shopped around the stores in Ghiradelli Square (I got Adelaide a little cable car and the book Larry Loves San Francisco! which is seriously adorable and is available for other cities, which we may just need to get.  Adelaide loves to read the book and say “woof woof” everytime she sees Larry.  Very fitting for this dog loving little girl that the main character just happens to be a dog.

Afterwards we walked down to the waterfront so Adelaide could get some energy out before hopping the cable car back to our hotel for nap time.  Of course Adelaide hates to get dirty though, so she wasn’t a big fan of running in the sand.  After a few minutes she was over it and sat down to clean off her feet, which of course just got her more sandy.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Oh kid, you kill me.

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