Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas in Hawaii

We decided to fly to Hawaii for Christmas and meet my family there instead of flying back to Australia. I booked us a three-bedroom suite at a resort in Ko Olina, right on the waterfront.

The flight was brutal - 10 hours straight. Eloise napped just once and then was awake for 12 hours straight.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="336"] It's a miracle, she's asleep![/caption]

The resort and beach were so beautiful. Ko Olina was a little piece of paradise. We spent most days walking around the beaches, swimming in the ocean and pools.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Checking out the beach for the first time since she was four months old in Sydney.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Pure joy.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ocean![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Walking by the beach with Daddy.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Beach with my Cheese.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Decided she loves the beach.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Hey beach baby![/caption]

We also did the toddler dolphin experience at Dolphin Quest. It was wonderful to meet dolphins with Eloise. It totally blew her mind. She was fascinated by them, and has been saying "dolph!" and pointing to pictures of them since.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Dolphins![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] View from the balcony.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="338"] Sunset.[/caption]

One thing I really wanted to do was the Disney character breakfast at Aulani. It was so much fun! A decent buffet breakfast with a great omelet station, Minnie Mouse and Goofy wandering around to the tables for meet and greets and photo ops. Every so often, "Auntie" would strike up music and sing cute Hawaiian-y songs, handing out instruments and leading the kids in a parade around the restaurant. Eloise was in absolute heaven.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Disney breakfast at Aulani resort.[/caption]

Alec and I had a few hours to ourselves one day so went for a drive to Mokule'ia Beach, where Lost was filmed. It was stunning - a pure white sand beach with almost no one in site for miles.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Mokule'ia Beach, Oahu[/caption]

We also went on an easy hike one day with Tim and Michele up to Diamond Head. It had an amazing view of Honolulu.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] View from Diamond Head.[/caption]

I also got up super early one morning to see Pearl Harbour with Michele. It was a sobering experience to be there and see the sunken Arizona ship.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour.[/caption]

Even though I get really sea sick pretty much just by looking at boats, I thought it would be a fun idea to get on a boat and go snorkelling and whale watching. True to form, I felt ill the entire time, but we did see about 10 Humpback whales.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Humpback whales spotting.[/caption]

We went for a stroll through Waimea Valley. It was really beautiful - a little too manicured, but some amazing plants.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Crazy antics.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Waimea Valley.[/caption]

We also went on the Ranch and Movie tour at Kualoa Ranch, where a lot of movies and TV shows have been filmed. I loved the tour - especially seeing where Jurassic Park was filmed for the famous scene with the log below.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Jurassic Park filming location, Kualoa Ranch.[/caption]

It was really strange being somewhere other than in Warwick Farm for Christmas morning. It was really lovely, but also really strange! My first Christmas not in Warwick Farm in my life so far. We had breakfast at the neighbouring Marriott resort, followed by present opening and relaxing.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Christmas morning with my baby.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Christmas palm tree.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Family shot, Christmas Day.[/caption]

What a wonderful trip! It was so great to see my family all together. Hawaii is paradise - can't wait to go back again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!

Wow, what a year. It started out much as 2011 ended - with a hard, fussy, non-sleeping baby dominating our lives. Thankfully, by the time summer rolled around, everything improved by about 100%. We had a baby who slept! We slept! We had a wonderful summer and really enjoyed ourselves and getting to know a new, happier Eloise. I felt like a new person, not just hanging in there for dear life every day, but finally enjoying life again. It was wonderful to finally be able to really enjoy our baby and our lives together. We went out a lot, had playdates, went to galleries. What an an amazing life!

2012 was definitely the year for working out how we and Eloise could co-exist successfully as a family. I'm excited about 2013 - hopefully the year where Alec and I can start to focus again on what we want to achieve career-wise. For Alec, this involves quitting his job at Twitter to start his own business. For me, this means hoping to launch a freelance writing career to make some extra money as well as focusing on getting my own site/blog Brunch With My Baby off the ground.

As Eloise leaves her babyhood behind and turns into a toddler, we are loving getting to see her adorable personality developing. The little girl who is a daredevil, climbing and tumbling and throwing herself off stairs. The tiny person who adores music and dancing, and who loves to play jokes with us and laugh at everything.

2013 is looking to be quite an adventure again - I can't wait to see what happens.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Buffy is home!

We had some wonderful news as we flew into New York. Buffy was found! The little scamp had gone wolf in the bush for two weeks. She had made a den in some used car parts down the back of the pet sitter's property. The son saw her and tried to catch her, but because she tried tried to bite him (!!!) he had to trap her. Unbelievable. She's looking pretty good for two weeks in the wild. She's lost 1.5kgs (from under 5kgs anyway!) but is otherwise fine. Miracle!!