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Monday, 11 May 2015

Daily Pics: Rough Landing

Welcome back to NYC. We arrived after a good flight, all intact, with everything, minus one very important carry on laptop bag. In the flurry of disembarking we left it in the overhead compartment. If it were any other item missing, it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but this one contained all our very important documents. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Passports, birth certificates, house keys, check books, laptops (yes, plural) the whole enchilada.

After two hours pleading with Delta baggage services, we left the airport empty handed and crestfallen. The bag is lost, possibly stolen. The missing stroller made it to the baggage pick up area, but the carry on didn’t. What next? It’s out of the jurisdiction of the 13th precint police. We have to return to JFK and file a report with the Port Authority police. The additional catch being that to file a report we we need to inform our respective embassies of our lost passports, but to do so requires us to file a report. Go figure. My head is about to explode. New York City has a way of kicking you in the teeth, just when you think you may have landed on your feet. At the end of the day it is a major inconvienience, but we are still happy and healthy, and we have the resources (and perhaps the strength after a good nights sleep) to deal with this dilemma. Upside is that Squee and Fatty Patty are with us.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Daily Pics: Just A Typical RV Day

Two more days to go before we leave Rover. It occurs to me that our RV has been the only real home Baby Boy O has known. Our 200 square foot tiny house on wheels. He's spent more time in Rover than anywhere else, other than my womb. Our nomadic rhythm is normal to him. Packing, moving, shopping, unpacking, swimming, is just another typical day. Boy, that's all going to change very soon!

 

Baby boy o with sunglasses

Little goofball

 

Stripping the bed

Stripping the bed

 

Baby boy o in laundry basket

Good wash needed

 

Walk around adventure bound

Morning nap walk

 

Thai lunch

Good ratings, disappointing Thai for lunch

 

Baby boy o smiling at balloon

That smile. Magic!

 

English hubby throwing watermelon into the air

Watermelon giggles

 

Feet on dash

Putting my feet up

 

Short nap

Didn't last long

 

Baby boy o with monkey

Monkeying around

 

Ball in swimming pool

Going nuts

 

Bitten

Little vampire. Ouch!

 

Laundry

Hunter

 

Cooking vegan dinner

Gatherer

 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Daily Pics: Plane Plane

English Hubby is a plane buff. He spent his teenage years memorizing obscure facts about planes and all that pent up knowledge came flooding out. I was well impressed by his encyclopedic labeling of planes as we toured Davis AFB. Baby Boy O hasn't fallen far from the tree. He has an eagle eye for plane spotting. Two pigs in mud.

 

Baby boy o looking with big eyes

Hey, you looking at me?!

 

English hubby and baby boy o on the bus

Security check to get on the bus

 

Tour guide

English hubby's future volunteer role

 

Baby boy o looking at planes

Planes big and small

 

Sealed airplane

Sealed to keep out the desert dust and critters

 

Looking at planes

Captivated

 

Attack helicopters

A for attack

 

Spare parts

Spare parts earning $10 on the dollar

 

Air command

Air command during the Cold War

 

Baby boy o asleep with mummy

Too much excitement

 

Planes cut up

Cut up so the soviet satellites can see

 

Galaxy carrier

You can pack heavy on this flight

 

Yellow Sea plane

Shiny planes

 

Baby boy o and English hubby

Pigs in mud

 

Red plane

Big red

 

Excited boy

So excited he doesn't know where to look!

 

Baby boy o in cockpit

Can't quite reach

 

Air traffic control

Cleared for landing

 

Baby boy o with wooden steering wheel

Pilot training for babies

 

Fiddly toy

So many fiddly bits

 

Baby boy o piloting a plane

Taking mummy for a ride

 

Chin ups

Top Gun training

 

English hubby eating chilli dog

Top Dog training

 

Helicopter on fork lift

So this is how you move a helicopter

 

Looking out at planes

Boys off to see the planes, enjoying a quiet moment

 

Green helicopter

Camo green

 

Baby boy o at rear of helicopter

Unafraid of danger

 

Baby boy o facing off to face

Staring it in the face

 

Entry to air and space museum

Air and Space Museum rocked!

 

Voted best in the nation sign

High expectations

 

Swimming pool at voyager resort

Not bad, but Monte Vista gets my vote

 

Indoor pool

Swimmy swimmy time

 

English hubby opening beer

Beer o'clock

 

Simple dinner

Real simple dinner

 

Sunset

Basking in its glow

 

English hubby at table

Dinner date

 

Full moon

Vesak full moon

 

 

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Daily Pics: Time

We received some news today. The type of news where from that moment onward everything changes, yet everything is as it is and still stays the same. Life plays on. Sadness descends, only to the kept at bay by remembering how fortune has smiled on all of us and still continues to do so. How lucky we have been to have time and to have spent it wisely, without regret. For it is the only currency that cannot be earned back, traded or bought.

 

Skype with Sevenoaks

News no one wants to hear

 

Baby boy o and monkey

Bonding with monkey

 

Undercover RV storage

A place out of the sun

 

RV storage

Rover's temporary home

 

In and out burger joint

Old time burgers

 

In and out burger and fries

English Hubby's favorite

 

Seal coming off RV

Coming apart in more ways than one

 

English hubby fixing seal

Some things can be fixed

 

Smiling baby boy o

Moments like this add up to a life well lived

 

Dinner outside

Dinner Al fresco

 

Skype with mum

So far, yet so close

 

Us together

So much to be grateful for

 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Daily Pics: Not a Day Over 55

Arizona is a snowbird retirement mecca, and finding an RV park that caters to the under 55 crowd is as easy as putting an octopus in a string bag (as Reader likes to say). Lucky for us, English Hubby has lovely salt and pepper colored hair, and many places tend to take a don't ask, don't tell approach, so we haven't yet been carded or denied. According to Jim, these RV resorts get quite wild in the Winter. Good to know we have something to look forward to!

 

Rice pot

What's cooking?!

 

Indian curry

Loving last night's leftovers

 

Laundry in stroller

Babe doing laundry

 

Washing up

More washing up

 

Baby boy o and box

Playing outside the box

 

Chicken thighs

Meal prep, thank you Real Simple!

 

Park models

Trailer trash or park models

 

Palm tree

Palm tree street

 

Golf carts

Rush hour at the activity center

 

Fitstar

Two sessions!

 

Resort living

Resort living

 

Swimming pool at monte vista

Not bad at all

 

Drumming

Kitchen drumming

 

Baby boy O with green bowl on head

Funny boy!

 

Biting dog

Not quite getting the concept of giving Spot a kiss

 

Site 1423

Farewell 1423

 

Safeway trolley

Going for a spin around Safeway

 

Melon

Cruising with a melon

 

Casa grande

Casa Grand not Grande

 

Baby boy o smiling

Post office smiles

 

USPS boxes

Picking up a few more boxes

 

Pool instructions

We're definitely hanging with the over 55 crowd

 

Pool

Been spoilt at Monte Vista

 

Narcissus

Baby Narcissus smacked his head trying to touch his reflection

 

Bubbles

Nothing like an afternoon bubble blowing session

 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Daily Pics: New York Frame of Mind

Less than two weeks now before we are back in New York City. In some ways it is exciting to be heading back to the big smoke, the land of take out and delivery, the city of convienience and cabs. That being said, I will miss leisurely strolls through the wide aisles of Safeway and not having to battle constantly for personal space. We've started putting our city lives back together. Organizing movers, renovations, toddler classes, nanny interviews from afar.

 

English hubby on phone

Organizing new windows and window guards

 

Baby boy o pulling to standing

Trying to pull himself to standing. Not quite there yet

 

Drinking from a glass

Thirsty business

 

Nanny posting

Nanny search continues

 

Bunny on the lawn

Bunny magic

 

Indian dinner

Not quite Brick Lane but a surprise for English Hubby nonetheless

 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Daily Pics: Monte Vista

I've grown quite fond of Monte Vista Resort and our little routine here. Baby Boy O and I go for our morning walk to Safeway. He falls asleep, I grab a freshly made green tea and peach drink at Starbucks, with an Asiago and jalapeño bagel, and I work on my book. We pick up lunch, head back to meet with English Hubby who would have finished his morning calls. We get what we can done with the little one in tow, trying to slide in a meditation session or gym workout, and then four o'clock swimmy swimmy time rolls around. We splash, we download, we head back and bathe the boy who is worn and ready for bed. Over the last week and a half we've fallen into a nice rhythm. Enjoying it whilst it lasts.

 

Baby boy o walking with toy

Morning activity, a stroll around the RV

 

Walk past tennis courts

Going for a walk

 

Safeway starbucks

I'll have the usual

 

Working at Starbucks

Work station

 

Snack at Starbucks

After nap snack

 

Baby boy o with Mesa locals

Chatting with the locals

 

Fork in the road

Fork in the road

 

Hummingbird

Hummingbird song

 

Pool at monte vista

Missing this already

 

Baby boy o with Starbucks cup

The American side of him. Will have to show him what good coffee really is!

 

FedEx

RV delivery

 

Napping with daddy

Afternoon nap with daddy

 

Mum and baby swimming

Swimmy swimmy time

 

Cuddles in the pool

Splashy splashy

 

Kisses in the pool

Kissy Kissy

 

Baby boy o dinner by the pool

Dinner by the pool

 

RV cover in box

Packing up is starting to feel real now

 

 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Daily Pics: Bite of Arizona

The notion of a lazy Sunday morning escapes us. Baby Boy O was awake at the crack of dawn. The up side is that we are able to pack a whole bunch into a day. Off to the mall to pick up a few new items and then to the food truck festival. Not quite New York standards, but the upside is that we didn't have to line up for hours. Indulged in fish tacos, chickpea ciabatta and even an Indian fried bread, of the North American not subcontinent variety.

 

Baby boy o unwinding hatch

Adding more tricks to his kit bag

 

Flyovers in Arizona

Taking you anywhere and everywhere

 

Arizona mall

Mall rats

 

Clouds and mountains

Heading to rawhide for lunch

 

Bite of Arizona

Bite of Arizona food truck festival

 

Indian fried bread

A different type of roti

 

Hot tamale

Eyeing the hot tamale

 

Fish tacos

Delicious fish tacos

 

Food truck crowd

Not quite the New York food truck scene

 

Monte vista entry sign

Arriving back home

 

Vacuuming

Chores

 

Monte vista gym

Family work out

 

Baby boy o reading

Some heavy reading

 

Reading spot book

Riveting plot line

 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Daily Pics: A Mighty Big Thump

Huffington Post published “10 More Realistic Milestones For Your Baby Book” and we just ticked off number one (again) today. Baby Boy O was sleeping soundly in the middle of the bed. Thirty minutes later we heard an almighty thump and a fractionally delayed wail. My heart truly stopped for a second. Running back into the RV not knowing if my little boy is okay. The thought of him hurt weighs so heavy. I cannot even imagine the pain of families in Nepal who have lost their dear ones. How precious our human lives are.

 

Opening the hatch

Learning something new

 

Baby boy o breakfast sunshine

Our little ray of sunshine

 

Large flat rate box

Starting to think about packing...the end of the road trip is nigh

 

Baby boy o sleeping

Sleeping beauty

 

Shoes flung

An almighty thud, shoes flung off as I run into the RV

 

Family hug

Ok after cuddles and tickles

 

Baby boy o practicing his walking

Back to normal, diligently practicing his walking

 

Cheeky little smiler

Back to his cheeky self

 

English hubby with ipad

Off to lunch, but someone is addicted to bandwidth

 

Using free wifi

Things we do for free wifi

 

Disgusting pizza

Regretful pizza lunch. Never again, Peter Piper Pizza. What were we thinking?!

 

Baby boy onetime watermelon

Delicious watermelon

 

Gym workout at monte vista resort

Sneaking in a gym work out

 

Laundry day

In between loads of laundry

 

Scrawl look

His WTF face

 

Kale dinner

Much needed healthy dinner

 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Daily Pics: A Good, Good Day

Today has been a good day. Rain clouds came, gave a light sprinkle to wash away the dust, and things are a little clearer now. Our little threesome has found its groove and in this moment it feels good. Our nanny interviewing came to a close and we have three strong, yet very different candidates. Our neighbor, Psych Adam, wrote an article with five tips to handle transitions. We are doing all of them to varying degrees – mindfully anticipating what we may feel when the transition occurs, and anticipate how we feel. Check. Ask for help. Check, check. Keep a routine, sort of check. Know where you are going and keep things in perspective, barely check. Go easy on yourself, must remember to check. Things are a changing, and it has been a good good day.

 

Baby boy o tearing tissue in bed

Tearing it up

 

Baby boy o in stroller at Mesa resort

Morning nap walk

 

Rain clouds

Threatening clouds. Nice to have a bit of rain to clear away the dust

 

Safeway grocery

Our usual Starbucks writing table and Safeway stop

 

Picnic in front of RV

Concrete picnic

 

English hubby giving baby boy o some lunch

Lunching away

 

Baby and dad plane spotting

Plane spotting

 

Comparing watermelons

Who is bigger?

 

Naked bib look

Setting a new trend in baby ware

 

Bunny under the RV

Back from a quick Fitstar workout. Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with B

 

Boys reading

Big brains at work

 

Laptop with nanny interview

Interviews continue, last one done

 

Nanny list

Shortlisted from over 140 applicants

 

English hubby holding baby boy o in the pool

4 o'clock swim time again

 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Daily Pics: Full Time Mummy

It is a tough job being a full time mummy. Baby Boy O is going through a barnacle phase, where he is stuck to me like glue. Half a foot away is a little to distant. Poh Poh says its a sign of how much he loves us and how deep that attachment is. We are searching for a nanny and all I can hope for is an angel sent down from the heavens to help us look after our little one. He/she will have to have the patience of a saint. Funny thing is we've not had one male applicant. Where are all the real men? Scared to step up to the plate?!

 

Superhero baby

What's your superpower?!

 

 

Finger eating

Eating with his fingers

 

Fork eating

Mastering a fork

 

Exploring cupboards

Exploring every nook and cranny

 

Button pusher

Pressing all the buttons

 

Pushing his walker

Watch out! Here he comes!

 

Baby bundle

My little bundle

 

Mummy's angel

Sweet little angel

 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Daily Pics: Stand And Be Counted

All Baby Boy O wants to do is be on his feet. Holding his walker toy, lapping the coffee table clockwise then anti clockwise. It's fascinating watching his skills progress and the lightbulb go on in his head as he connects the dots. Makes me realize how much we take for granted as the synapses preprogrammed over the years fire on autopilot. Imagine having to relearn all of that again? We are no match for a baby.

 

Light switch

Mastered the light switch!

 

Mah mah holding baby boy o as he walks

Speedy Gonzales

 

Happy feet

So happy to be on two feet

 

Grabbing newspapers

Nothing is safe

 

Backyard pool

Breaking Bad backyard

 

Baby boy o with backward cap

Yo Yo Baby Boy O in da house!

 

Touching pink flower

Pincer fingers strike again

 

English hubby pool boy

Pool boy

 

Swim time not so keen

Not as keen today

 

Baby burrito

Baby burrito

 

Carrot and prune muffins

Healthy birthday carrot and prune muffins

 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Daily Pics: Tax Time is So Taxing

Every year it is the same mayhem. Receipts lost, statements missing, manual data entry and books aren't the only things to be unbalanced. Why in the age of Quicken, expense tracking apps and downloadable data are we still in this pickle? Because English Hubby is old school. I'm surprised the quill and ink has been retired. I've managed to extract a promise that next year shall be more straight through processing. The efficiency consultant in me is pleased with that acknowledgement. The cynic in me will wait 365 days to see.

 

Awake early and walking

Mr Early Riser

 

Morning walk with mah mah

Off for a walk with Mah Mah

 

Apple snack time

Snack time

 

Baby boy o with food all over face

Lunch time

 

Tax time work

Tax time

 

Toy cars in boxes

Car smash up

 

Baby boy o and deadly swimming

Highlight of the day

 

Elvis impersonator

Smallest Elvis impersonator ever

 

Ice cream truck

Treats

 

Walking around the coffee table

I want to play, not sleep!

 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Daily Pics: Cooling Off

We took Mah Mah to see all the unique sights that Arizona had to offer. Museums, art galleries and the outdoors are so overrated. Instead we visited In and Out Burger, UHaul RV Storage and a supermarket on the way back to Scottsdale. Crying baby most of the way, and temperatures rising high. Thankful for Mah Mah's great idea to go for a swim to cool off.

 

Mah mah and baby boy o in bed

Snuggling up in bed

 

Space cadet

Cry baby space cadet

 

Supermarket

Visiting all the glamorous places

 

In and out

Panda Express or In and Out?

 

RV storage

Sussing out some storage for rover

 

Mah mah and baby boy I

Cooling off in the pool

 

English hubby and baby boy o in Scottsdale pool

Much needed giggles

 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Daily Pics: Rock Art

English Hubby met someone who had a theory that ancient rock art may not have the awe inspiring meaning we sometimes attribute to it. Rather, it may just be as simple as a few bored kids told to go outside of the cave to play, having a bit of fun graffiting the neighborhood, leaving tags all over the place! I think regardless of the reasons why people choose to draw and write, there is something endearing about putting your thoughts out there and creating something to last. It is a way of transporting ideas through time and space. Whether it be ancient rock art or more modern forms of expression like blogging, storytelling ignites the imagination and connects people together.

 

Baby boy o with plastic container

Cheeky little guy

 

Family selfie

Hiding from the sun

 

Talking to national parks guide

Learning more about the desert

 

English hubby protecting private parts

Trying to protect private parts from a very excited little boy

 

Getting lift from park ranger

Getting a lift back from the ranger

 

Going on a hike

Off for a short hike

 

Prickly pear flowers

Blooming beautiful

 

Petroglyphs and fighter jet

Ancient and modern. Petroglyphs and fighter jets

 

English hubby on stairs.

Trying to cover up the warning sign

 

Cacti

Cacti caucus

 

Stay off rocks sign

Between a rock and a hot place

 

Dear rock art

Oh dear

 

Spiral rock art

Abstract

 

English hubby and mah mah

Belated Mother's Day cuddles

 

Rock art on stone

The original tablet

 

Mexican lunch

Late lunch

 

Cheese crisp

Glad we're hungry

 

Baby boy o playing with activity center

Another rendition of old McDonald had a farm...enough already!

 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Daily Pics: Zoom Zoom Zoom

Six more days till our little baby turns one. As a special treat Aunty Ems let him open his very first present. He was stoked. His chubby little fingers mauled the cars. Great entertainment as we repacked Rover to head off for a weekend in Tucson. A welcome break from a few days of intense work. How is it that we still don't have enough time in a day?!

 

Present wrapped in dinosaur

Every little boy's dream

 

Present tag from Aunty Ems

Thank you Aunty Ems!

 

Baby boy o looking at car present

What is this?!

 

Baby boy o playing with toy car

Is that how it works?

 

Toy car

Zoom zoom zoom

 

Baby boy o looking through the window

Peekaboo from our little house in Scottsdale. Little eyes watching us pack

 

Driving in rover

Road trip!

 

Mountain view

Back in familiar territory

 

Sitting outside with Mah Mah

Taking Mah Mah to Catalina State Park

 

Me and baby boy o

Dancing cheek to cheek

 

Stripping baby outside

No room for modesty!

 

English hubby giving baby boy o bath and squirting boat

Bath time fun!

 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Daily Pics: Long Time Between Lychee Martinis

First adult only date night in a very long time. Mah Mah was kind enough to look mind Baby Boy O whilst he was sleeping, allowing us to escape for a few hours into the hot bed of fast cars and fake blondes that is the Entertainment District of Scottsdale. Armed with Yelp we decided to brave a sushi fix in the middle of a desert. It all worked out well with a delicious dinner, minus the wasabi laced sushi. All until the clock struck quarter to eleven and we turned back into pumpkins summoned home by a phone call from Mah Mah to a crying baby.

 

Bum shuffle start

Started off here...

 

Bum shuffle 2

...and ended up here, with tears because he was moving the wrong way!

 

Baby boy o eating blueberries and watermelon

Breakfast buffet

 

Scottsdale apartments under construction

Cowboy apartments

 

Scottsdale road

Road to entertainment and fashion districts

 

English hubby and Baby boy o having fish lunch by pool

Poolside lunching

 

Night time silouhette

The night is young, with a rogue parking ticket to come

 

Lychee martini

Way too long between lychee Martinis

 

Sashimi

Fish

 

Sashimi more

Fish

 

Sashimi

And more fish

 

Salmon carpaccio with truffles

Carpaccio with truffles

 

Braised beef

Braised beef goodness

 

Chocolate lava cake

Desert courtesy of our sushi chef, making it up for the wasabi incident

 

Check at sushi roku

Omakase surprise

 

Tacky bars

Getting way too old for public selfies

 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Daily Pics: Happy Walker

Much happier today after a good sleep. Things just aren't as strange anymore, and the additional space of our little Air BnB house in Scottsdale isn't as scary anymore. Today we had wave after wave of Amazon.com boxes arrive. All our pent up purchasing from having no fixed address whilst on the road.

 

Happier baby boy o

Waking up on the happier side of the bed

 

Baby boy o with mah mah opening presents

More presents

 

Eating jook with mah mah

Jook makes everything better

 

Market

Great little Scottsdale neighborhood

 

Baby walker

Look what mummy ordered online?!

 

Mum and baby boy o holding walker

Someone is super happy

 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Baby Boy Grumps

Someone had the grumps today. Now that Mah Mah is over, our plan was to hunker down do get some work done – taxes, CRT, calls, nanny search, and a whole load of leftovers that need attention – but Baby Boy O was not going to have a bar of that. New routine, new house, new grandma. Not a great formula for happy baby.

 

Baby boy o and mah mah reading storybook

Not so sure about morning story time

 

Breakfast in the saucer chair

Yummy breakfast

 

Baby boy o opening presents

Thanks Mah Mah for my presents!

 

Lunch by pool with Skype

Lunch by the pool with Yah Yah on Skype too

 

Baby boy o upset

Not happy Jan! (...only people who grew up in Australia in the 80s will understand)

 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Daily Pics: Biosphere 2

Visiting Biosphere 2 makes me realize that we know so very little about the world in which we live, yet our actions and decisions are based on imperfect snippets of data that we extrapolate and codify and then etch into stone. We think we know more than we really do. We think we can control and predict, yet all we seem to be doing is shift a delicate balance further out to the edges where implications and consequences that were once inelastic become elastic and magnified in its environmental impact. Biosphere 2 is a poor but necessary replication of the original biosphere 1, the Earth. Poor because we can never replicate the complex systems that nature has evolved, not even with half a billion dollars and counting. Necessary as it is the closest thing we have for research and testing, the collection of data which fuels the computer models that fan the flames of our understanding of the very fragile planet we live on.

It occurs to me that the biggest mistake we can make is to think we can definitively know something. When we fall into that trap we shut the door on inquiry, we blind ourselves to the possible yet less probable, we stop reconizing that error allows us to grow and learn, and we fool ourselves into a false sense of security.

 

Baby boy o with bed head

Serious bed head

 

English hubby exercising on picnic table

Picnic table cum bench press

 

Baby boy o playing in RV with toys

Play things

 

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2

 

Glass wall of biosphere 2

An engineering marvel

 

English hubby and baby boy o on biosphere 2 tour

Youngest biospherean in the group

 

Airlock door

Pneumatically sealed

 

Biosphere ocean

Simulating the earths oceans

 

Rainforest room

Rainforest room

 

Plastic garbage in ocean

What are we doing to our world?

 

Fire extinguisher sign

Anyone want to reach for the fire extinguisher?

 

Desert room

Simulating a desert (located in a desert...the irony)

 

Rock to soil experiment

Rock to soil experiment, break it down

 

Girl getting a little handsy with baby boy O

Get your hands off my boy young lady!

 

Biosphere lung

Expandable lung capacity of the biosphere

 

Walking in a tunnel

Getting deep down into the technosphere

 

Biosphere lung

Metal and rubber lung, so the heat expanded air doesn't make the biosphere explode

 

Outside the biosphere

Imagine spending two years sealed away

 

Highway roadside fire

We need that fire extinguisher now

 

Baby boy o holding oranges

Helping with the grocery shopping

 

Mah mah arriving at Phoenix airport

Welcome Mah Mah!

 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Daily Pics: Saguaros and Old Tucson

Saguaros are majestic. They stand tall and proud, growing inch by inch every year. The Native American people believed that they were once people, from the earth and of the earth. To be treated with utmost respect. The unbreakable circle of life, for one day we too will return to the earth to rest.

 

Baby boy o Easter egg

This is all I get for an Easter egg?

 

Road to saguaro national park

Off to Saguaro National Park

 

Tarantula

Zola the tarantula

 

English hubby walking along the road

Walking the road after Guardian Angel Mike warned us about rattlesnakes

 

Kings canyon trail

Setting off on the trail

 

Yellow desert wildflower

Burst of yellow

 

Desert prickly plant

Beautiful and dangerous

 

Red flowering cactus

Flowering cactus

 

English hubby on kings canyon trail

Starting to warm up

 

Kings canyon desert view

Not a bad dessert view

 

Pink desert flowers

Blush and bloom

 

Purple wild flowers

Wildflowers everywhere

 

Desert selfie

My little desert trekker

 

Saguaro with two blooms

Which one is female...

 

Saguaro with one bloom

...and which one is male?!

 

Yellow cactus flowers

Yellow and prickly

 

English hubby hiking ahead in the desert

Full steam ahead

 

English hubby hiking over a hill

Over the hill and far away

 

Thorny desert flower

Thorn in the side

 

Cactus shaped like a heart

Prickly love

 

Six saguaros

Saguaro family

 

English hubby hiking on kings canyon trail

Beautifully raw landscape

 

Prickly cactus

Up close and personal

 

Pineapple cactus

I spy a pineapple

 

Hairy cactus

Hairy old man cactus

 

English hubby hiking up to peak

Heading toward the peak against the two hour time limit

 

Weathered bones

Weathered tree bones

 

Saguaro

Amazing cactus, over 100 years old

 

Cactus valley

Into the valley

 

Old tucson

English hubby going under duress

 

Gun slinging

Gun slingin'

 

Lasso cowboy

Lasso whipping Loop Rawlins

 

Ribs

Anyone for ribs?!

 

Old Tucson movie set

Cowboy movie set

 

Phoebes

Little madam

 

Goat and horse

Petting zoo

 

Costumed woman

Step back in time

 

English hubby in a horse thief coffin

Too tall for a horse thief

 

Cuddle with mummy

Afternoon cuddle time

 

Sun setting through the tree

Awesome campsite at Catalina State Park

 

Mountains at Catalina state park

Perfect view of the mountains

 

Baby boy O walking on picnic table

Picnic table catwalk

 

Sun setting out the mountains

Sun setting

 

Star app

Looking over the night sky

 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Daily Pics: A Desert Surprise

I had never thought much about deserts until today. Who knew something so seemingly inhospitable and hostile could be a thing of raw beauty and abundance. Plants, animals, birds and all manner of creatures seem to grow and thrive. They adapt in glorious ways. Adaptation is a skill. Change can be a gift. We booked our flight back to New York City last week. May 11 to meet up with Squee and Fatty Patty. But in truth I have been apprehensive and torn about returning back to the fold. It wasn't until this evenings conversation with Big Red that I surprised even myself. I had a game plan, a spark, a thing of raw beauty and abundance. It had been there all along, and all I had to do was hear myself say it out loud.

 

Baby boy o with Apple

An apple a day

 

Road sign for the desert museum

Heading to the desert museum

 

Yellow desert trees

Burst of color

 

Red flowering cacti

Beauty in the raw

 

White car advertising desert museum

Desert ark

 

Lizard sitting on rock

Hidden in plain sight

 

Bird into of prickly cacti

Standing tall even on a prickly surface

 

Desert museum loop

Doing the half mile loop

 

Bee stack

Condos for bees, sort of like NYC, rooms with a view

 

Desert scape

Peaceful, calm and open

 

Baby boy o looking over at little girl

Flirting with a girl way too old for him

 

Bobcat

Bob the bobcat

 

Falcons on cacti

Falcon landing

 

Two Falcons flying

Falcon free form

 

Up close cacti

Up close and prickly

 

Red desert plants

Nature's garden

 

Cacti sprouting

Sprouting out

 

Cacti standing straight and tall

Straight and tall

 

Javelina resting in shade

Don't call me a pig, I'm a javelina

 

Baby boy o with big smile

Best smile in the world

 

Desert family selfie

Desert selfie

 

Prairie dog

Fascinated with the prairie dogs

 

Heron

I'm watching you!

 

Cactus spikes

Getting stuck into cactus

 

Baby boy o looking at fish

Baby boy o loves fish

 

Yellow fish

Finding Nemo

 

Rollercoaster road back

Rollercoaster road

 

Tra-tel RV park

Catching up on news with Big Red

 

English hubby with happy face grilling

Happy grilling

 

Blueberry pie and ice cream

American as blueberry pie

 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Hello Arizona

Farewell New Mexico, hello Arizona. Our westward journey continues with a surprise lunch time find in Benson – delicious Mexican enchiladas and frajitas. Baby Boy O enjoyed the steak putting his newly emergent teeth to work. We are now in Tucson working out our game plan for this weekend's activities. So much to do and see.

 

Dad and a baby boy o in bed playing

Playtime in bed

 

Dust storm sign

This could get interesting

 

Road sign for Tucson

Heading to Tucson for the weekend

 

Road sign for Arizona

Land of the stop and frisk

 

Mi casa restaurant

Mi casa sous casa

 

Baby boy o and dad at lunch

Hungry hippos

 

Sizzling frajitas

Sizzling frajitas

 

Saucy enchiladas

Saucy enchiladas

 

Baby boy o excited

Someone spies a present...

 

Daddy with a ball

...from mummy and daddy

 

Baby boy o so happy with his new ball

Best thing ever!

 

Tucson

First glimpse of Tucson

 

Sunset from barbed wire fence

Sunset from the RV park, where geriatrics and their parents stay

 

 

 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

English Hubby To The Rescue

My blog got hacked again. I don't understand why the cyber universe has decided to pick on my lowly space for musings. I haven't offended any dictators, I don't ask for credit card details or transact, I have no state secrets worthy of prying open. Evil hackers please leave me alone. All I can say is thank goodness for English Hubby. My techno-geek-double-spacing-hero. This is the best post-date night present you could give me: ousting my digital trespassers, sorting out my maps and (hopefully, once they reply to my ticket request) restoring order to the blog pic universe.

 

Baby boy o playing in the morning

My little ray of sunshine

 

New Mexico border patrol check

Border patrol ID check

 

Baby boy o sleeping with finge in ear

Not listening to you!

 

English hubby cleaning the RV bathroom

English hubby on a cleaning mission

 

Baby boy o crying from teething pain

Teething is no fun

 

Baby boy o sleeping through pain

Poor little one, finally napping

 

RV park in lordsburg New Mexico

Dust bowl stopover

 

Laptop backing up blog

My hero

 
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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Date Night Flirting

We had a fun date night plus one. Up the road from the RV park was a little restaurant and winery that specialized in thin crust Italian pizzas (yes, made with 00 flour!), home made gelato and extremely big glasses of sweet red wine. The star of the night was Baby Boy O. Over the course of dinner his many admirers would come over to say hello. Pity he can't write yet, else he'd be dishing out autographs. The only person not impressed was the date of the pretty lady Baby Boy O was flirting with.

 

Breakfast with uncle Vince

Breakfast and long debates with Uncle Vince

 

Baby boy o crying next to toy balls

I don't want to go to Walmart mummy!

 

Fillet of fish

One of my many vices

 

Full moon over mountains

Full moon over mountains

 

English hubby opening door to restaurant

Date night at Luna Rossa

 

English hubby with wine and fitbit

Date night wine and fitbit combo

 

Thin crust Hawaiian pizza

Thin crust yummy-ness

 

Mesilla basilica

Walk into the old town square in Mesilla

 

Park bench in Mesilla town square

Listening to music and smooching with my man

 

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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Daily Pics: Breaking Bad Fever

Another sleepless night. Baby Boy O's fever seems to be easing off a little but there is still no reprieve for his sore gums. Given the situation English Hubby sacrificed his morning hike up to Guadalupe Peak and we pack up and drive toward civilization. When we break for lunch at Popeyes, Baby Boy O seems to be fighting fit, and demanding more chicken. By the time we park up in New Mexico, he's back to his old social self, absorbing every word of our conversation with Uncle Vince from the RV with the cool little Fiat 500 next door. A kindred traveller experiencing a change of pace, from Gulf Stream to A Class. Reflecting back on his life journey he says something that sticks like glue – there are no luggage racks in a hurst. Full stop.

 

Sunrise at Guadalupe

An early morning start. At least we get to see the sun rise

 

Packing the RV

Operation pack and go

 

Baby boy o smiling in carseat

Happy to be heading toward civilization

 

Guadalupe national park

Farewell, we will be back

 

Mum cuddling baby boy o with Guadalupe peak in the background

Precious cuddles

 

10000 miles on rover

Rover clocked it

 

My first drive in rover

First drive

 

Salt flats

Salt flats. The name says it all

 

Baby boy o unwell in car seat

Still not feeling great

 

Warning sign for barb wire

Post office stop. You'd think it would be pretty obvious

 

Baby boy o feeling better

Perking up in time for lunch

 

Popeyes lunch

So bad yet so good

 

Sign for El Paso

Heading to El Paso

 

Typical American highway

The quintessential American highway

 

Welcome to New Mexico sign

The land of enchantment

 

CAFOs

The inconvenient truth - where our beef comes from. Horrific CAFOs

 

Baby boy o in breaking dad onsie

Perfect for New Mexico. Thanks Mommy Wolfe

 

Baby boy o bathing outdoors

After talking to Uncle Vince, we fill up the outdoor jacuzzi

 

Monday, 30 March 2015

Boondock Fever

And the bad parent award goes to…us. Baby Boy O's fever is persistent and spiking. Perhaps a six mile hike in the middle of the day was not the smartest of all ideas. The poor thing keeps shoving his fingers into his mouth and crying out in pain. I wish it were an act to gain attention and extra cuddles but this time his need to be close is so real and so strong that he'd climb back up into my womb if he could. Of course whilst this is all happening we are boondocking – relying on our own water and battery electrics – in the middle of nowhere, with patchy cell phone reception, and over two hours away from the nearest children's hospital in El Paso. I'm not particularly religious, but I have whispered a few quiet requests to whomever is listening to keep my boy safe from harm.

 

English hubby doing dishes

Communal sink dish washing to try to save water

 

Baby boy sleeping fever

Restless night, sleeping his fever off

 

Guadalupe mountain in the morning

The mighty mountain, blocking any cell phone reception

 

Baby medication

Wet towels and Pedia Care therapy

 

Baby boy o and dad at breakfast

He still has an appetite which is a good sign

 

Rover parked at Guadalupe mountain

Some pretty funky parking to get all 32 feet in the spot

 

Baby boy o watching dad work

Watching daddy work

 

Happier baby boy o with mummy

Perking up a little

 

Guadalupe mountain evening view

Evening view

 

Baby boy o with mummy and Sophie the giraffe

Itchy teeth

 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

You Give Me Fever

We finally get the chance to go off the grid for a mountain adventure in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Baby Boy O has a teething fever. Started off with his hands in his mouth and lots of drooling, then progressed in the morning to a fever of 38.5 degrees. After a shot of baby Pedia Care he seems back to his normal self so we headed off on the McKirritck Canyon Trail for a beautiful 6 mile canyon hike. We fretted over him all day, making sure he’s well hydrated with drink stops every 20 minutes, well shaded with an umbrella and well cooled with a wet towel on his neck. He’s a tough little trooper and loved the hike, as did daddy and mummy. Teething really sucks.

 

Baby boy o having early breakfast

Little poppet feeling very warm

 

Fresh red tomatoes

Lovely present from a fellow RVer

 

Long freight train

Waiting waiting waiting

 

Caution high winds sign

Blown all over the road

 

ÏEnglish hubby cleaning wind screen

Perfecting the drive by photo moment

 

Guadalupe mountains

Heading to the Guadalupe Mountains

 

Rover at entrance to McKittrick canyon

Off to hike McKittrick Canyon

 

Start of the canyon hike

Start of a six mike hike, a little nervous given the little one's fever

 

Blue skies in the canyon

Raw and beautiful

 

Family photo in McKittrick canyon

Canyon pose

 

Dries river beds

Over dried river beds

 

Mummy and baby boy o under an umbrella

Nice and cool under the shade

 

Native plant

Natives

 

Smooth bark trees

Smooth bark trees, right in the middle of the desert

 

English hubby crossing stream

Hop skip and jump over the little stream

 

Baby boy o touching tree

Baby Boy O communing with nature

 

Spindly green plant

Where the wild things grow

 

Beautiful mountains and blue sky with clouds

Hallowed skies

 

Feeding baby boy o at the cabin

Pit stop at the cabin

 

Baby boy o eating fruit

Fruit break, yummy!

 

Baby boy o feeling a little better sitting on table

Feeling like his old self

 

Silouhette  of tree and sun

Thank goodness for water breaks every 20 minutes

 

Sweet little baby boy o

Little smiley guy

 

English hubby walking the trail

Trudging forward with daddy

 

Baby boy o carried by dad at the grotto

We finally reach the grotto

 

Family selfie

Canyon family selfie

 

Dad changing baby boy o on picnic table

Picnic table bush change

 

Cool grotto

Natural air conditioning

 

Baby boy o asleep in the carrier with dad

Exhausted, barreling back along the path

 

Stones on a river bed

Stone Age

 

Rocky River bed

Rock on!

 

Canyon trees

Getting weary in the heat

 

Glad to have made it back safely. Headed to the campground, navigated tricky parking and fired up the generator for some welcome air conditioning

 

Baby boy o in orange too carried by dad

My little trooper

 

Beware of mountain lions sign

Explains the scat on the trail

 

Baby boy o and dad sitting in camping chair outside RV

Settling in for the night

 

 

 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Not Much Happens Around Here

We are diving through flyover land. Not much happens around here. Highways, rest stops, bad food, and two bit towns that help join the dots from point A to point B. Van Horn's claim to fame is its middle ground between Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Nothing more.

 

Baby boy o tiny on bed

Tiny tot

 

RV overtaking

We are actually overtaking someone!

 

English hubby cleaning windscreen

Pit stop and windscreen clean

 

Briefcases for sale at the flying j

The last remaining stash of briefcases in the western world, at the Flying J

 

Subway lunch

English hubby talked me into a tuna melt

 

Butterfly toy in RV

Have butterfly will travel

 

RV park in van horn

Smack bang in the middle of nowhere special

 

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Friday, 27 March 2015

Fat Dash

One supermarket shop, two fast food stops, four hours drive time, 240 more miles under our belt we made it from Medina to Fort Stockton. Due west along the gun barrel of Texas. We experimented with a new approach – driving two hours, breaking for an early dinner and bath time for Baby Boy O, and then back in the hot seat for another two hours. It sort of worked, with sporadic cries as the little one was woken from slumber by bumpy roads and the loud clattering of dishes and stuff in our RV. The experiment continues.

 

Baby boy o standing on a trike

Checking out the trike

 

Rover worked with Harley and stoller

Which ride would you prefer?

 

Medina hills

Drive through the hills

 

Long john silvers

Long John Silvers, surprisingly delicious fish and chips and good service too

 

Baby boy o in car shopping cart

Beep beep, move out the way!

 

Baby boy o in cart in supermarket

Stocking up at H.E.B.

 

Mummy and baby boy o under big sombrero

Hola sombrero

 

Baby boy o standing in RV

Half time break. Letting him stretch out

 

English hubby standing outside rover

English hubby piecing Rover back together

 

Mummy and baby boy o playing tickle games

Tickle games

 

Pizza Hut skinny pizza

Our second serving of fat fast food today. Pizza Hut's skinny pizza with an asterisk stating it is not a low calorie food!

 

Pizza Hut booth

Notice how wide the booths are?! Pizza Hut patron size

 

Roadside bathing

Post dinner roadside bath, all ready for bed and the final leg of the drive

 

Driving into the sunset

Driving into the sunset

 

Fire sunset

Sky's on fire

 

Driving to fort Stockton at night

Hello Fort Stockton

 

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Daily Pics: Rhythm

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been back in Rover for 10 days. England, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Hong Kong now seem so very long ago. It’s nice to have now found our own rhythm, a balance as best we can between work, play, family and ‘me’ time. Our clocks seem to have synced. It makes me happy to have a routine, a plan. Perhaps it is the illusion of order and control. I recognize it will change in the most unpredictable ways, but I’ll take it nonetheless.

 

Baby sleeping on four pillows

Four square

 

Stonewall Texas neighborhood

A walk around the neighborhood

 

Lambs in a field

Where’s Mary?

 

Cranky crying baby

Someone woke up very cranky

 

Baby standing on dad sitting in rocking chair

Handover time as per the new schedule

 

Baby trying to crawl

Trying to teach him how to crawl. He’s not happy at all!

 

Man sitting infront of laptop in RV

Still so much to do and so little time

 

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Daily Pics: Me and My Boy

We’re camping out at Peach Country RV Park for the rest of the week. English Hubby gets to make sales calls and I get to hang out with my cheeky little boy. His personality grows stronger every single day and there are many giggles and laughs, but also grumps and tantrums. He came off his straight through the night sleeping schedule a few days back, mainly because of teething. We had to take some action to help him learn to get back in that sleep groove. Baby Boy O has mastered the art of standing. All good except he gets frustrated because he can’t do much else like move, sit or balance. He’s quickly entering toddlerhood and I’m busily reading books and searching for tips and YouTube videos to smooth the transitions. All that being said he is great company. I think we’ll keep him!

 

Baby playing piano

A couple of renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in C major

 

Baby holding onto chair and trying to walk

Practicing the art of walking

 

Baby in the stroller on the side of the road

Taking a long walk down to the Pendernales River

 

Baby lying on mat in activity center

Taking an afternoon nap after all that play

 

Man fixing the sink in the RV

Maintenance

 

Plumbers putty

Putty in my hands

 

Man cooking on bbq outside RV

Date night BBQ dinner al fresco

 

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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Daily Pics: St Patrick’s Day Pot Luck

We are the youngest RVing family here. If you added up my age, English Hubby’s and Baby Boy O’s we would be getting more in the vicinity of our fellow campers. There’s a lovely simplicity that I see around me. At the same time getting old can be tough when you add to the mix Alan’s dementia, Betty’s limp and Linda’s failing eyesight, but there seems to be an acceptance that time moves and we move with it. No sweating the small stuff, focusing on the here and now. Today there was great excitement surrounding the St Paddy’s day pot luck dinner. Naturally we couldn’t miss the social even of the week, so I whipped up a simple stir fry for dinner at 5pm. 

 

Family breakfast outdoors

Family breakfast outdoors

 

Baby at ladies knitting circle

Joining the ladies knitting circle

 

Baby on activity mat

Playtime fun!

 

St Patrick's day potluck food

Steering well clear of the unidentifiable green stuff

 

St Patrick's day dinner

Loving the corned beef

 

Baby sitting on lady's lap wearing green

Going green

 

Baby at st Patrick's day dinner

Center of attention

 

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Daily Pics: Infinite Change

Today is Pi day 3.14.15…and so on, infinitely, random and changing. It is written that the beauty of Pi is that it puts infinity within reach. Therefore today it seems fitting that we commit to make an infinitely wise change. We all have that mental list – eat better, sleep more, do more exercise, moisturize, drink more water, meditate more and so on.  Some day we will run out of time to take that journey of change. So today English Hubby and I have started reading the Zen Habits book, Mastering the Art of Change, and are committing to just one change as we work through the chapters in this book. That one thing is to get more exercise. There. It’s out there in the big wide world. 

 

Morning fog

Sometimes you need to get through the fog to get some clarity

 

Dad holding baby in supermarket

We had grand ambitions to refuel, hike and explore. Shopping as always took longer than anticipated

 

Baby sitting on supermarket scales

Weighing in

 

Lunch from whole foods

Thank goodness for Whole Foods

 

Fridge packed with food

Won’t be going hungry anytime soon

 

RV being refused with gas

Refueling, literally

 

Two iPads on dining table

After dinner commitment to change

 

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Friday, 13 March 2015

Daily Pics: Puppy Dog Tales

A restful day at the campsite. Some work, some admin and lots of playing with the little one. The sun finally arrived so we went for a few walks by the river and along the trails. Baby Boy O is now keenly aware of fuzzy four legged friends. Every time he sees one its a “woohf whoohf” greeting. 

 

Man making green juice in RV

Morning green juice made by English Hubby’s fair hands

 

Cricket the dog

Woohf woohf Cricket

 

Rvs parked in campground

Coming back from a morning stroll to the river

 

Baby asleep in RV

Down time

 

Baby with look of concentration on his face

Pure concentration

 

Trees and grass with blue sky and sunshine

Finally the sun comes out to play, after four foggy rainy days

 

Cute baby wearing baseball cap

Friday afternoon family walk

 

Man and baby walking with deer on trail

Dear spotting

 

Puppy dog book

Puppy dog tales

 

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Daily Pics: Up and About (Sort Of)

Yesterday I casually wrote “can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow” and Baby Boy O delivers. This morning he hoisted himself up from sitting to standing position, using the strategically positioned car seat as balance bars. If that wasn’t enough, this afternoon he took his first independent steps! Holding onto the couch for dear life, legs shakey and a mix of pure fear and excitement. Small steps for him, big steps for all of us. 

 

Baby standing against car seat

Hoisting himself up with all his might

 

Man and baby eating lunch on picnic table

Family lunch outside, sharing it with a few wasps

 

Baby in bunk bed playing with toys

A few moments of quiet play, in between Pterodactyl like cries

 

Baby standing

Big steps for a small boy 

 

Boomerang meat pie

An Aussie boomerang meat pie. Close enough, and tasty. 

 

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Daily Pics: Hunger Games

Baby Boy O has been eating up a storm. He can’t seem to get enough of food and milk, and his all time favorite, watermelon. Definitely another growth spurt on the way, adding to the mental leaps he’s already making. Everyday is a new day and learning just continues exponentially. I feel so fortunate to be able to be witness to these events – things we as adults take for granted day in day out – but from a little ones point of view, it is a huge leap to take one foot step after another and hold himself still, to sift out then eject an unsavory food item from a mouthful of food, to open and close a box and take out blocks from a container, to play games with his mummy and understand the idea of taking turns and rolling in fits of laughter at each other. My baby played quietly and even looked after me today as I recouped in bed. His sweet chubby fingers gently wrapped around mine as I napped. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

 

Baby on tummy looking out

Sweet Baby Boy O looking at birdies by the Colorado River

 

Baby eating home made jook

Food glorious food

 

Dad and baby in carrier asleep

Daddy took him out for a walk to the activity center and along the trails

 

Colorado River Texas

After lunch walk to the river with mummy

 

Baby hair

His natural little coif

 

Baby standing on play equipment

Standing up and holding on like a big boy 

 

Baby sitting on slide

Having fun at the playgrounds and playing games with mummy

 

Pork roast dinner

Delicious roast dinner after an afternoon of play, cuddles and naps. Life is so very good

 

Map of the USA

Netflix date night in, and trip planning

 

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Daily Pics: Mamamama

Baby Boy O has a lot to say. Today he did the talking for us both. He loves jumping into conversation, chattering away to Mike our fellow RVer. He made friends with Linda the next door camper too. Best of all those seemingly random syllables may actually mean something. Mamamamama appears to stand for mummy. His first official word. It’s close enough. I’ll take it!

 

Baby playing on RV floor with dad at computer

Playtime is becoming quite serious

 

Two men and baby taking outside of RV

Chatting with Mike, the first person online in 1946 when his dad and brother pegged him up with the rest of the laundry 

 

Baby reaching out to man

Sharing a moment with Mike who has many stories to tell

 

Bridge over the Colorado River in Columbus Texas

Bridge over troubled waters

 

Sign for Thousand trails Colorado River Texas

Home for the next few nights. Hot dogs in the activity center tonight, ice cream social tomorrow

 

RV parked by the Colorado River

Landing a coveted spot by the river

 

Demand for rent notice

Sorting things out

 

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Monday, 9 March 2015

Daily Pics: The New Normal

We are settling into a new normal. Baby Boy O wakes us, he feeds, we play. Breakfast, clean up, admin, pack and go. We shop for essentials or gas or something, we lunch and we drive further. He cries, laughs, moans, smiles and more. We reach our destination where I unpack the inside whilst occupying the little one and English Hubby hooks up the RV outside. A little more play, perhaps a book. Then bath, another feed, and put to bed. Then dinner, dishes and we try to catch up on all the things we feel we should have done during the day in transit. Even without a ‘real job’ our time is cram filled with living.

 

Dad and baby playing with blocks in bed

Morning playtime

 

Baby napping

Nap time

 

 

Looking out the window of the RV

Drive time through fog in Galveston

 

Baby eating cantaloupe

Lunch time snack

 

Baby in car seat

Afternoon giggles

 

Computer screen

Grown up stuff


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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Daily Pics: Flying High

We have been completely spoilt with kindness. That bridge of friendship spanning Singapore, New York, Houston and now Galveston began with a conversation at a bus stop. Invited into their family’s home, flying kites on the beach, drinking margaritas over a Tex Mex two plate dinner feast. Sharing experiences and excitement of times to come. It makes me smile and remember how fortunate we are, every moment, every day. 

 

Smiling lady holding baby boy

What a great way to wake up, smiling.

 

View of beach from condo

And with a view 

 

Painting of monkey painting a monkey

Monkey business

 

Two men and baby assembling kite

Baby Boy O’s first lesson in aeronautics

 

Man and baby flying a kite on the beach

Up in the air

 

Dad and baby in carrier flying a kite

Higher higher daddy!

 

Three adults flying kites on the beach

Big kids

 

Bird plane and traditional kite flying

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s a rainbow kite!

 

Man concentrating on flying a kite

The concentration

 

Man flying kite on beach

Handyman Dan commanding the skies

 

Galveston beach

Not quite beach weather but nice to on the beach

 

Tex mex restaurant in Galveston

We’re in Texas. There’s got to be good Tex Mex here

 

Woman man and baby posing for photo

Waiting for dinner 

 

Chip and salsa

Only regret is not taking a photo of English Hubby’s two plate original dinner

 

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Friday, 6 March 2015

Daily Pics: Yellow Balloon Day

Getting settled back into the RV bit by bit. It’s nice to rediscover our tiny house on wheels and not having to live out of a suitcase. Baby Boy O’s shoe rack of clothes is unpacked, toys put away, English Hubby spent the morning rearranging the storage to make room for a stroller too. We now move from two vehicles to one. Rental returned after a circuitous drive around Houston airport courtesy of Google Maps. We are now traveling as a family in Rover, heading down to Galveston to meet Finland Gal and Handyman Dan. Running late of course. 

 

Baby stuff in RV

The great unpack

 

White car parked next to RV with lake in background

Farewell rental

 

Baby in shopping cart with yellow helium balloon

A very happy baby thanks to the lovely lady at Krogers

 

Baby and mum with yellow balloon in supermarket

Balloon games in the frozen aisle

 

Sunset over the port

From Houston to Galveston, a sunset with love 

 

Baby and lady playing with yellow balloon

All you need is a balloon and a Finnish Gal

 

Man with birthday cake and six candles

Only six years old!

 

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Daily Pics: Home On Wheels

Winter caught up with us with a good sprinkling of snow in Dallas. We planned to take off at 9 but ended up leaving by about 10am. So is life with a little one who now refuses to be put down to play alone. Packing takes twice as long! We sludged our way to Conroe to pick up Rover. Luckily he was tucked away safe and sound with everything in good working order. A few quick pit stops to dewinterize, settle storage and restock on supplies, then onto our spot for the night. It’s good to be home.

 

View of snow from hotel room

Dallas in white

 

Baby sitting on be playing with buckets

Still practicing with the buckets

 

Dad and son eating breakfast

Like father like son

 

Snow on windscreen

Heading 196 miles south!

 

Highway driving

A balmy 37 degree Fahrenheit 

 

RV storage unit

Hello Rover

 

Baby sitting in drivers seat crying

But I don’t want to drive it mummy!

 

Inside of class c motor home

Flat battery but everything else in good nick

 

RV on the road

On the road again!

 

Man and baby in supermarket

Restocking with goodies

 

RV at lake Conroe

Parking up for the night

 

Yesterday’s post: 

Tomorrow’s post:

 

 

 

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Daily Pics: Dream Sheet

We put it out there today. Dream sheet shared. Our wish list is out there in the universe and the wheels are a-turning. Where it lands is something that will be revealed to us in good time. It has been a bumpy road to get to this point. Lots of late nights, excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, what ifs and what not. Today good team work shone through, a important and different type of partnership. Tonight we celebrate with In-and-out burgers and a bag of popcorn.

 

Baby and babysitter playing with toy buckets

Teaching the little one how to stack buckets

 

Man with umbrella

Walking through the rain

 

Offices

The pitch

 

Baby on bed with buckets stacked up

Playing bucket games with mummy

 

Popcorn

A grease spoon milestone celebration

 

Yesterday’s post: SitterCity

Tomorrow’s post:

 

 

 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Daily Pics: SitterCity

Thank goodness for SitterCity. We managed to find a great babysitter to meet us at our hotel in Irving. Baby Boy O loved the attention from someone new. Martha was great, nevertheless leaving my baby with a near complete stranger is a harrowing experience. We had a number of trial runs today – baby sitter and late night pitch perfect rehearsals – and now we have more peace of mind for tomorrow. Que sera sera. 

 

Babysitter holding baby

Striking gold with Martha

 

Babysitter changing baby in hotel room

Nice to have another pair of hands

 

Baby in stroller

Loving all the attention

 

Baby wearing a supercool tshirt

The t-shirt says it all

 

Baby playing in hotel room

Calm before the bedtime storm. Sometimes you have to shut the hotel door and rehearse in the hallway

 

Yesterday’s post: The Final Flying Leg

Tomorrow’s post:

 

 

 

Monday, 2 March 2015

Daily Pics: The Final Flying Leg

It’s been a very long day, starting in LA and ending in Dallas. Another snafu with American Airlines neglecting to inform us that they had changed our 11.10 flight to 09.30. Our patience tested in one long line after another – baggage check, rebooking and then security. Having spent over five hours in LAX Terminal 4 I can now safely say that it ranks as one of the worst airports in the world. Nevertheless we made the best of our closing leg of travel, grabbing lunch, finding a little nook to rest and even sneaking in a floor nap. Baby Boy O held up as well as a teething baby in transit can. It’s near midnight in our hotel room and he has finally melted down. This marks the official close of our round the world in 91 days chapter. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it and looking forward to being reunited with Rover, soon.

 

Baby sitting on carpet with sign that says week 46

A great way to start the day in LA

 

Boy holding home made book

Pirate Coopy with his swashbuckling tales

 

Baby and little girl reading yellow book

Princess Lila recounting stories of dragons

 

Man and baby with heart shaped balloon

A lot of love in the air

 

Waiting in line at lax

Line after line

 

Baby boy o sitting on top of luggage

Bag surfer

 

Floor napping at lax

Making the most of the situation

 

Mum carrying napping baby on plane

It’s been a long long day

 

Yesterday’s post:

Tomorrow’s post:

 

 

 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Daily Pics: Go!

Today’s our last day in the USA for the rest of the year. Off to London tonight, the first leg of our round the world expedition. Closing one chapter and opening another. Escaping the freezing weather. Thankfully we had our London clothes with us which helped shield us from the 40 degree drop in temperature.  Ready, set, go!

Baby in bothers

Started the day with a little swim in the hotel pool…still waking up after too many episodes of Master Chef Junior. Addicted and adoring Oona!

 

Mum and baby in a pool

Little dip in the pool

 

Baby and dad in the pool

Always time for thumb sucking

 

Family pool selfie

Family pool selfie

 

Baby floating in a pool

Just chillin’ out

 

Stroller bag

Pack and go! Love this stroller bag

 

Lunch at the cosmic cafe

Cosmic Cafe two days in a row. Yum!

 

Mail in car

Grand Prairie mail run, mobile banking from the car, picking up sunglasses from LensCrafters and buying a big pillow from Walmart. Done.

 

Baby in stroller with luggage

Someone’s excited!

 

Mum and baby in airplane

Somewhere above the Atlantic

American Airlines strikes again…

 

Yesterday’s post: Go!

Tomorrow post:

 

 

 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Daily Pics: Digging Dallas

Best ways to get to know a new city is to eat and walk. We found a local gem (thank you Yelp) of a place – Cosmic Cafe – a Himalayan vegetarian restaurant. Good for the body and soul and even had a meditation center upstairs to boot. Our inner Om connected with our stomach yum.

We had a lovely lazy morning in the hotel room, I had some me time at the gym, off to lunch then a walk along Dallas’ Katy trail green belt area. Just soaking up the glorious Dallas winter sun. 

 

Baby with love me sleep sack

Love me…so easy to do

 

Christmas tree at the Hilton Anatole

It’s starting to feel a bit like Christmas

 

Gym

Feels so good to exercise

 

Baby watching babies crawl on iPad

Teaching Baby Boy O to crawl by showing him how

 

Indian food platter

Cosmic Cafe Om and yum

 

Happy man with Indian food

One very happy English Hubby

 

Baby eating naan

Baby Boy O getting in on the action

 

Buddha painting

Loving the vibe

 

Sunshine on trees by creek in Dallas

Winter sunshine

 

Katy Trail Dallas

Stumbled across the Katy Trail

 

Before I die list

Not sure eating a panda would be on my list

 

Bar

It’s thirsty work walking the trail. Had to stop for a cold one

 

Baby smiling

So happy to be outdoors

 

Baby asleep in cot

Out cold after a big day

 

Yesterday’s post: Speed Bumps on the Road to Dallas

Tomorrow’s post: 

 

 

 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Daily Pics: Speed Bumps on the Road to Dallas

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. They forgot to mention the speed bumps along the way. Little annoyances that slow you down, scrape the bottom of your car and test your ability to practice mindfulness and compassion. I am pleased to report that we got to Dallas in the end, but only after clearing a few trying hurdles along the way. What hurdles you may ask? Here’s a selection:

  • We discovered our storage unit had a residual oil leak from the previous tenant. Although the manager promised to have it cleaned up before we moved in, it never happened. The last thing we wanted was for our tiny house on wheels, with all the personals we left behind, to smell of oil after three months in an unventilated storage unit. English Hubby came across a fix on YouTube. Cat litter. Yep, sprinkle it on and it soaks up the slick and smells. Cat-astrophe avoided 😉
  • We took Rover to the RV service center to be winterized yesterday. They forgot to drain the pump, which would have frozen over and cracked should the temperatures dip below freezing. A number of calls and an impromptu pit stop back at servicing and it was fixed. Not a biggie, but begs the question why things can’t be done right in the first place. 
  • Just as we were storing the RV, we noticed little mud dauber nests on the struts. Not wanting to come back to an infestation of wasps, we had to destroy their little nests and just hope they don’t return. We could be in for a nasty surprise in three months time, but hey ho.
  • Then after covering 200 miles and arriving at our hotel in Dallas, the front desk informed us there were no more cribs left. What happened to the special request, and phone call to confirm that we had a crib for our seven month old you may ask? A mystery that will go unanswered. 
At the end of the day, speed bumps make the journey memorable. A lot of good things happened too, too many to list without boring everyone to death. 
 
Cleaning up the RV for storage

The big clean up

 

Packing up the RV

Packing up our tiny house on wheels

 

Empty RV fridge

With a valiant effort, we managed to eat most of our food

 

Couple in front of an RV

Getting nostalgic as one chapter ends and another one begins

 

High chair and placemats at chick fil a

Brunch at Chick Fil A whilst we wait for Rover to be fixed. So impressed by the high chairs which came with sanitizing wipes and fresh plastic placemats for kids to eat off. So thoughtful and great service

 

Mud dauber nests

Unwelcome surprise in our storage unit

 

Man sweeping storage unit

Nothing a broom and a stick could not fix (we hope!)

 

RV backing into a storage unit

Wide load

 

RV in storage unit with brake light on

Precision driving

 

Family at sonic

Mid way pit stop and diaper change at Sonic

 

Roller skating sign at sonic

With roller skating waiters and waitresses…so very Happy Days

 

Baby in car seat stretching

We all had a nice little stretch and cuddle

 

Dallas theme song and skyline

Playing the original theme song…

 

Dallas skyline at sunset

…as we roll into town

 

Hilton hotel room

Cribless at the Hilton

 

Baby sleeping on bed surrounded with pillows

Sleeping amongst a castle of fluffy pillows

 

Yesterday’s post: Set…

Tomorrow’s post:

 

 

 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Daily Pics: Set…

In the midst of a packing frenzy. Trying to pack for three months abroad, five countries, seven stops, winter and summer seasons, three people, two bags plus baby gear. Add to that, packing up the RV for storage. As Irish Lass commented on Facebook, such a huge first world problem to have!

As with any challenge, solving it starts one step at a time, and with long lists of things to remember on Evernote – remember to empty rubbish bins, give away condiments and frozen stuff, pack international plugs, passports, print travel insurance docs, pack 6 – 12 month clothes, winter and summer stuff…and the list goes on. Ready, set…

 

Baby on bed with clothes all around him

One very important thing to pack!

 

Shoe rack baby clothes holder

Repurposed show rack packing hack

 

Baby clothes in shoe rack in bag

Rolls up and packs beautifully! And everything is ready to go on the other end

 

Vietnamese restaurant with green walls

Crappy Vietnamese. Should have known from the green on the walls

 

Yesterday’s post: So Very Thankful

Tomorrow’s post:

 

 

 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Daily Pics: So Very Thankful

Our first thanksgiving as a family of three. We have so much to be thankful for. Our complaints are small, our challenges insignificant in the broader scheme of things, we have good health and a precious fortunate life. Today we had a great opportunity to give back and help others. We helped fold clothes, prep food boxes and set up tables and chairs for Thanksgiving lunch at the Dream Center in Conroe. Our contribution was so minuscule when you realize 45 million people in America are at minimum wage or less (think $7.25 to $9.50 range). That’s a lot of hardship for a lot of people. I’ve come to appreciate it more and aware of this hidden issue since finishing Linda Tirado’s book, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America. I am thankful for so much and thankful I can help others too. 

 

Baby on front looking at trees

The only way we can get him to do tummy time. The boy loves trees!

 

Mum and baby in Pom Pom hat

We waited so long for you, so thankful to be your mum

 

Thanksgiving volunteering

Driving to the wrong side of the tracks, parking next to a lady turning tricks, trying to order chaos. Some things feel broken and need fixing

 

Man standing in front of dream center

Such a small drop in the ocean, nevertheless it was a drop

 

Baby reading book

So thankful for my beautiful sister who sent us this book

 

Thanksgiving lunch in the hall

Breaking bread – Thanksgiving turkey and pot luck lunch at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe

 

Baby with sweet potato on his nose

Someone liked their sweet potato

 

Baby with two teeth crying

Poor Baby Boy O. Second tooth breaking through. Grumpy

 

Thumb sucking baby

Binky is so yesterday! He’s started sucking his thumb

 

Dad giving baby a bath in RV

Last tub bath in Rover (for a little while at least)

 

Yesterday’s post: Ready…

Tomorrow’s post: