well, i won't lie to you, the flight was pretty horrendous - mae was good as gold until the last four or five hours when we were all pretty shattered, sophie slept for a rough total of 6 hours out of the 24 we were in transit and was hard to handle in my lap whether sleeping or not. we didn't end up using half of the snacks and toys i brought, the batteries on the digital picture frame were dead when i pulled it out, mae's headphones wouldn't work on the plane (i meant to buy an adapter but forgot), our inseat tvs didn't work for the first couple of hours of our first flight, our gate checked umbrella stroller wasn't waiting for us in auckland for our four hour layover, prompting a mini meltdown from me, prompting air new zealand to organise a stroller for us and send us up to their lounge (so nice!), i don't sleep well on planes except with earplugs which wasn't really an option this time so i dozed for about 2 hours total.
but we made it. we're here! it's summer! we've been hanging out with tons of family and friends and enjoying the sunshine (and the bevy of toys that grandma has provided) to the fullest.
we actually flew on mae's birthday and we had a small party for her the sunday before with our closest friends and family. she had been talking about her birthday party for MONTHS and was so happy to finally be able to blow out those candles.
and we finally gave mae her new camera, complete with a new neck strap and padded case made by moi. (we've played with her kidizoom plus for a couple of weeks now and i can't recommend it enough to anyone looking at kid's cameras. it's 2 megapixel (unlike many that are .3 megapixel), uses an sd card, has a decent flash, shoots video, includes a bunch of cute frames and accents you can add to the photos. i totally love playing with it and, more importantly (i guess), so does mae.)
we did simple activities with the kids, party hat decorating with stickers (foam stars were a hit) and i bought a cardboard playhouse for them to colour on and play with. it was the first birthday party we've actually had and it turned out perfectly, lots of fun, yummy party food, pretty balloons, perfect company. i'm actually looking forward to next year's : )