Back in New Zealand
Baby milestones, moving to New Zealand for the year, and quarantining in Auckland.
The past few months were pretty wild with raising the baby and going to New Zealand, all amid the pandemic.
The baby is growing up so damn quickly. Since the last post, he’s hit several milestones, including:
- learning to sleep alone in his room
- sleeping without having to be swaddled
- rolling around from back to belly and vice versa
- planking and climbing up to his knees
He’s also becoming more aware of the world and more personable. He’s interested in everything and giggles more when I make silly sounds and faces. He still wears me out non-stop but it’s been awesome to see him develop.
Flying to New Zealand
In late July we took off for Kylea’s motherland: New Zealand. We decided to move to New Zealand for the rest of the year so that we could spend time with Kylea’s family.
It was surreal how empty the airports were; it made me feel grateful for even being able to travel during this time. We washed our hands insanely frequently and made sure our masks were on at all times.
Flying with the 5-month old turned out to be not so bad. He was surprisingly chill throughout all 36 hours of travel and barely cried during the flights. The flight staff was amazingly friendly and made sure we had everything we needed for the baby. The only moment of panic we had was when the baby decided to shit his pants 15 minutes before landing in LA.
Quarantine life in Auckland
Once we landed in Auckland, we were shuttled straight to one of the government-mandated quarantine hotels. The New Zealand government enforces a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country. We were placed in a very nice two-room hotel in Auckland for two weeks.
The staff at the hotel was extremely friendly and hospitable from start to finish. They would drop off three meals to our door per day. They were quite tasty and diverse, and included lasagna, Pad Thai, stir-fries, and more. My favourite was the huge pork chop with fried rice and bok choi that we got for one of the lunches.
They also provided everything we needed for the baby, including a crib, diapers, and wipes. I was also able to order beer and liquor when I wanted.
I kept myself entertained by watching the Leafs. Yet again I was disappointed by their performance, as they lost to the Blue Jackets in 5 games. I felt the usual sinking feeling, but I meditated over the fact that I have no control over the Leafs misfortunes and immediately felt better. Whatever, I’ll watch them again when they start playing like they give a damn.
We also killed time by going to the outdoor rooftop area. It wasn’t a big space, but it was nice to be able to get some fresh air. The hotel also provided a socially-distanced workout area which we used occasionally.
All in all, I feel very grateful for being able to travel to New Zealand, and for the hospitality provided by the Air New Zealand and hotel staff. They truly made it as comfortable as possible for us and made the quarantine go by really quickly.
Chilling out in Taupo
After spending the mandatory 14 days at the quarantine hotel and our two COVID tests returned negative, we drove south to Taupo to stay with Kylea’s parents.
It was amazing to see our baby held by Kylea’s parents. Since the lockdowns started in March, he had only been in physical contact with me and Kylea. It melted my heart to see the baby cuddle with Kylea’s parents, but it also made me wish for a future where my parents back in Canada can hold him again too.