Saturday, February 11, 2012


Hallelujah, I made it to New Zealand! The kids and I survived the nearly 30 hours of travel it takes to get from my house to my father's house on the other side of the world. I only have one or two new twitches in my eyelid as a result.

It is quite a haul to travel from Wisconsin to New Zealand. First we flew to Dallas, then to Los Angeles, then to Auckland, then we took a three-hour shuttle to the Tauranga area where my father lives. I have to say, the kids were fantastic on the trip. In fact, after the long Los Angeles-Auckland flight, I had three separate people come up to me and compliment me on how well the kids had behaved during the flight,  how quiet they were and how little they cried. It's true, they are great travelers and deserve praise, but how about some kudos for me?! After all, I also managed not cry too loudly. Although a tear or two might have squeezed out when Baby W knocked the chicken cacciatore off my tray and into my lap.

Stella enjoying the sprinkler in New Zealand.

My brother lent me his iPad for the trip to help entertain the kids on the trip. I wasn't sure how much we would use it, but the iPad turned out to be central to keeping Stella happy. On the other hand, Baby W is still nursing and relied more heavily on his very favorite toy, one that can provide entertainment and comfort for hours on end without needing a recharge. I call it the iBoob.

As always the international part of the air travel was far superior to the domestic portion of the trip. On the Quantas flight between Los Angeles and Aukland, we far had more leg room, more amenities, and just an overall much better experience than on the other legs of our trip. But what kind of word is "Quantas"? What happened to that missing "u"? I hate to spread rumors, but the one of the few other words that I can think of without a "u" following the "q" is Al Qaeda. I really hope that Qantas is not a terrorist organization, but if they are, I would still like to acknowledge that they have an excellent in-flight entertainment system.

Baby W wearing his rain coat into the baby pool.

The one complication that arose during our travel is that Stella has developed a phobia of airplane bathrooms. This phobia meant whenever Stella needed to use the toilet, I needed to go into the bathroom with her. And if I was in the airplane bathroom with Stella, I couldn't leave Baby W out wandering the plane by himself, so he had to come in as well. This meant that we had three people inhabiting a space only about 18 inches square. And yet we managed to do it. I'm putting in a request now to have my gravestone read: "Fit Three People in An Airplane Bathroom," and I think it's an accomplishment worthy of, at the very least, a Pulitzer.

Now that we are here and settled in New Zealand, the kids have had a lot of fun playing in the sprinkler. While they get wet, I practice cartwheels. I'm taking an adult gymnastics class, and you may remember me posting a video of my cartwheel a few months ago. I'm happy to say that I'm much better at doing cartwheels, as you can see in the video below. Some of that improvement is due to practice, but I think my gymnastics teacher deserves a lot of the credit for helping me learn to do a cartwheel, especially considering my overall lack of coordination. You might even say she deserves a Pulitzer.

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