The joys of trimester 3

So I found out right before my trip home that I have gestational diabetes, ugh. I didn’t let it effect my trip home too much, I used it as my last hooray before a serious diet change.
My numbers were not actually very bad and according to some information I was not at risk, but oh well. Now Michael and I both have it, so it’s low carb in San Diego for the next couple months.
So now I am in the process of experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, I have done pretty well so far. The testing 4 times a day is getting really old though and then I have to submit my food log and numbers once a week.


We have also been experiencing an unusually hot summer here in San Diego. Now under normal conditions I don’t think I would be such a baby about it, since I grew up in much worse conditions, but my body temperature is substantially higher than average these days. Also, our new home is not exactly equipped for temperature extremes, there is NO insulation, so it takes a long time to cool off and warms up quickly.

I think my attitude and disposition must have gotten the best of me, and possibly gotten to Mike. He went to work this Monday and then showed up in the afternoon with this beast.


The perks of working in construction and working with contractors!
So we rented this thing for the week. It helps substantially, and I am hiding out in the house these days (taking advantage and studying a lot!). I have an architectural test October 10th. Mike is also busy with homework for his MBA degree he started this semester online through CMU.
We also tried to buy some box fans, since the evenings cool off and if we can get a breeze going we don’t run the beast at night. However, the county of San Diego is out of all fans and air conditioners indefinitely! Everywhere!
At least I don’t feel like it is just me. I know I could still move back home though since everywhere I stayed, everyone had air conditioning and I slept wonderfully!
I am patiently waiting for my normal San Diego weather to return… in the meantime here is some bump progress.


Let’s get crafty!

The next morning we got up and headed to the east side for another shower for the Houghten family. Maeve was on a limited time frame since she had to catch her flight home. Jan, Becky and Becky-Jo had a fabulous party set up in the back yard of Jan’s house. Jan made delicious chicken salad and Becky had some fabulous fruit sangria (I had a little) it was a warm day but wonderful to be outside, it sprinkled a few times but the tents made it no problem.



Becky and Becky-Jo had some crafts set up for everyone to decorate, we had a wonderful time crafting and generally hanging out with everyone!
I can’t wait to see the finished products.




It was another fantastic day and again I am so lucky to have such an amazing family of in-laws! Thank you Jan, Becky, Becky-Jo, Chris and Jeff, you are all the best!

Aunt Maeve had to leave and Paulina was NOT happy about it… “Don’t go!”


High chance of Showers

I planned a trip to visit a good friend in Columbus, OH and thought this was a good chance to extend a trip home. Since this was my last trip baby free, it seemed a good opportunity for a baby shower.

I had a fabulous time in Columbus with my friend Ivana. It was a scorcher and also the first OSU game of the season, but we still managed to have a fabulous time. She had some “work” to do by collecting local brewery swag for a charity basket, so we hit up 4 different local breweries… I had a few samples! Then we did some shopping and dinner at Melt, mmmmm!


It was a quick trip since my mom planned a shower on Sunday in Burr Oak, Ivana was nice enough to drive me half way (through some thunder storms) to meet dad and Grandma Alice. Then it was off to Aunt Mary’s where the Denja girls were waiting and Maeve!
We headed to a cute little shop in Burr Oak, called Oh Bernice’s for the shower. Several people were unable to attend due to the Labor Day weekend, but we still had a wonderful turn out and a fantastic time. Mom made beef n noodles and polish sausage, YUM!



Leigh and Maeve planned lots of fun shower games, and the Denja girls helped (when they weren’t fighting over holding the new baby, Vayda, of my cousin Michelle)




It was a fabulous day, so happy to have such an amazing family! Thank you Redmond’s, Mason’s, Denja’s, Losinski’s!!!!





We all headed back to the east side early that evening. There are more showers tomorrow!


Well we are fast forwarding a bit… obviously lots has happened since the honeymoon but we just have to jump right into the present with the blog.

News flash! We are 26 weeks pregnant with a baby girl.
We moved into our first place together (alone that is – no roommates) last November.

So here is some progress of the bump and the garden.
Mike built and is filling the planter boxes, Maeve happened to be here this weekend and was kind enough to help since I was literally a useless person with the worst morning sickness (what a lousy description) and mine lasted from week 5 through week 20…


Here is garden progress




Here is the bump progress




The End

We drove back to Auckland before our flight home. We had the afternoon so we tried one more burger place downtown… again eh. We decided the ultimate problem was that most places overcooked the burger in our opinion. The meat itself was delicious though.

We had time to check out a couple sites in Auckland so after walking downtown we headed to Mount Eden. This is a public park with a large crater in the center that was created by a volcano. It also has a fantastic view of Auckland.


We were just hanging out relaxing and getting ready to pack up and head to the airport. We were also cleaning up a little and that’s when it happened.

Mike had nearly lost his wedding ring a couple times on this trip, but after 3 months and losing about 20 pounds, he finally lost it. He was wiping crumbs off the seat of the camper when whoosh! out the open back door it sailed… into the famous crater park! He looked diligently for some time, but nothing.
We had to give up and head to the airport. Here he is right before the incident.


The bright side is that the ring was only $40, so we will replace it when we get home.
It has been a once in a lifetime trip and we have had a grand adventure everywhere we went. Thank you all for your love and financial support to help make this possible for us! If you ever want advice or suggestions we are more than happy to help with any experiences we have had during this time. We look forward to coming “home” and seeing you soon!
All good things must come to an end.


Bay of Islands

Our last main stop is farther north of Auckland near the Bay of Islands on the east side. So we left early and drove north for most of the day. We planned to go on a snorkeling adventure in one of the most notable locations on earth.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of water, I do not have many pictures of the experience. But it was amazing. We went snorkeling in several different locations throughout the day. We left early morning and returned early evening.



The water was very chilly so we needed to wear wet suits… I am not a fan.
I grew up in fresh water, and although it was cold sometimes, I never wore a wetsuit. I found it incredibly restrictive and uncomfortable. At one point I had to get out of the water as I was feeling nauseous. In retrospect I wish I had practiced swimming in a wetsuit a little beforehand. It was still a great day though and we were tuckered out from the sun!
Back to the camper for the night.

This was our last night in New Zealand, we would fly out of Auckland tomorrow. We found a free campsite right on the beach, awesome location!


We also had some shots that we needed to drink before heading out, what a rough time this has been! A great way to spend our last night listening to the ocean waves.


Mount Doom

Our next destination is Tongariro National Park, the site of Mount Doom!
Again a beautiful drive. The whole country is gorgeous, very much reminds us of Hawaii.



Today is about driving and hiking.
We did a shorter hike and then after lunch a longer hike. Fabulous time.




It was a great day outdoors and then we hit the road again, heading north. We had wanted to stop at the Waitomo caves, also known as the glowworm caves, but the time and cost was just too prohibitive. So we stopped for the night on the west side of the island. We found a spot right on the beach in Raglan, New Zealand for the night.



Hawke Bay wine tasting

We drove on to Hawke Bay, we found a winery tour just south of Hastings called “On Yer Bike” we would be able to tour wineries on bicycles!

We arrived later in the afternoon so we needed to giddy-up to catch the wineries before they closed for the day. Set and ready to go.


A little background, we are not the biggest wine drinkers… we generally prefer beer and hard liquor… and bubbly for me!
But this was a great opportunity and I had heard the wine here is great. I absolutely have determined that I do like wine, I just like REALLY good wine.
So we gave it a shot.

A little ways down the road we made our first stop, I think in all we made it to 6 wineries total before we had to head back. Which was plenty!



The two we liked best were Salvare and Te Awa, we ended up purchasing wine from both. Salvare was a little more funky, we tried some wine slushy that was actually delicious and refreshing.
Te Awa had delicious wine, we spent the most time here. A lovely woman let us taste over 10 different wines and the atmosphere was rustic and comfortable. We were the only people in most of the wineries. It was a fabulous experience, I highly recommend it!



We drove on and our destination for the evening was Taupo, Lake Taupo is almost dead center on the north island. We found a free campsite right along a river called Reids Farm. A terrific spot.
So we had a thought… New Zealand is known for grass fed beef, we certainly saw a ton of them grazing in green hilly pastures as we were driving, what better place to have a great burger, right?
We tried one in town here for dinner called BurgerFuel, eh is was ok. The town itself was cool, it was located next to the lake and a “hoppin” place.
We called it a night.

The next morning we stopped by Huka Falls, the craziest aqua blue water, you have ever seen! It was not in our budget to take a ride down it on a boat, but it sure did look like fun.



Time to drive on. Our next stop was south to Hawke Bay near Napier, New Zealand.
Here is Mike driving Jeff Plecha style. Luckily he was in the shade most of the day.


Tauranga & the Falls

We were heading south to Tauranga.
So I always forget and underestimate the sun, not the best idea with my fair skin tone. But the sun here is SO MUCH stronger! I was enjoying the ocean breeze from my passenger perch and didn’t realize I hadn’t put sunscreen on, OUCH!


I found a waterfall we could hike to, so after a quick stop in town for some more specific directions we arrived at Tauranga Falls.


There was a short hike into the actual falls, a lovely and pleasant hike.
What an amazing waterfall, just like a postcard. We were so excited to get in and take a picture… until I tried to get in the water… holy cold!
Mike thought I was being a “girl” so he did his best to prove me wrong.
This is as far as he got.


We tried our best and really wanted to go for a quick swim, it was warm out, but the water was just SO cold! We settled for at least seeing it and the great hike. Time to drive on.