Day 4 in Banos

We got up early (6:30am) to head to Banos. Jason, Blythe, and I were exhausted which turned out well for Blythe because we ended up having a 12+ hour day and a lot of that was in the car. We made our first stop about 3 hours into the trip to grab a quick lunch which ended up being a ham and cheese sandwich on a roll (which was a lot like the ham and cheese toasties we had in Australia for those of you who have been reading along).

We drove about another hour up the road to the Chimborazo volcano. We got about half way up in the car when we realized that we had a flat. We all unloaded the car, they changed the flat and we loaded back in. The car was able to drive us up to base camp #1. For hikers who are planning to hike to the top of Chimborazo they stay 1 night in Base camp #1 to get acclimated to the altitude then they hike to base camp #2 and back and spend a 2nd afternoon at Base camp #1 before hiking up the following evening (10:30) to stay at Base camp #2. I´m not sure exactly what happens from there, but I think there is a 3rd base camp. We had planned to hike from base camp #1 to base camp #2 which was 200 meters straight up, but it was decided that it probably wasn`t a good idea for a young child, Blythe, or a pregnant person, me, to make the hike, due to the altitude. After the 200 meter hike you would be at 5000 meters. After hiking up just a little ways Becky and Jim decided they too would stay back at base camp and let the others go on. So Jim, Becky, Blythe, and I hung out at the base camp for about an hour while the others hiked. Jim disappeared after about 30 minutes and we later found out that he decided to hike up after all. When Nathan, Jason, Rachel, Byron, and Jim returned from the hike they told us that the first little bit that we hiked to (where the monument was) was the steepest part of the entire hike, so maybe we could have made it?

We all piled back into the car to finish up our car drive of another 3.5-4 hours where we would spend one night in Banos. We originally intended to get to Banos around 5pm to have time to go to the baths that evening, but we didn`t arrive until 8ish. So we all ate dinner and turned in. Jason and I were determined to get a good night of sleep so we asked for a room that was somewhat secluded so if we needed to let Blythe cry it out and get over not wanting to sleep in the pack `n play, we could. We lucked out and she slept great.

We headed to the baths about 7:00am because we needed to have our bags at the van by 8am and be ready to head out by 9am. It is quite a circus the driver and guide have to go through to get all our luggage on the top of the van. We were all done eating slightly before 9am so we ran over to the local church to have a look. Blythe really enjoyed running up and down the aisles.

Today was a nice change of pace for Jim, Nathan, Jason, Rachel, and I because we were going to bike for about and hour and a half in route to our next destination. We got on our bikes about 9:30 and headed towards Rio Verde. The bike ride was a nice change of pace, but Blythe and Becky followed behind us in the car because Becky wasn`t up for a bike ride and it wasn`t safe for Blythe. We winded around a mountain and even had to go through a tunnel. Of course the boys thought the tunnel was fun, but it was a little too dark for my comfort (we got in there before I had time to take off my sunglasses) and it was not lit so you felt like you were going to hit another biker at any minute OR a car was going to hit you. Luckily there were no injuries and we were able to go around all the other tunnels.

The first stop on our bike ride was about an hour into it. We took a gondola up a mountain to see the water falls. We got out on the other side and did a little hiking and tried out some Ecuadorian swings made out of tires. At first we were all a little intimidated by them, but before long we had all taken a turn, even Blythe (pictures to come).

We got back on our bike and headed to Rio Verde which was about 20 minutes away, then we had to get back into the car. Luckily we only had about a 2 hour car drive until we reached Tana, the Jungle! More to come on that.........


Day #2 and 3 in Cuenca

We left Guayaquil at 9:30and headed to Cuenca. Cuenca was a good 4 hours drive (we aren't talking a typical US 4 hour car drive we are talking mostly un-paved roads, huge pot holes and frequent stops for constructions. Pretty much every street is under construction at some point) and I was really impressed with how well Blythe did. She was either happy or sleeping which was great because she is not usually a very good car rider. We had planned to go to Ingapierca to the Inca ruins, but by the time we got to Cuenca (2:30, checked into the hotel, and ate lunch it was 4:15pm which was too late. It is not safe to be coming back from Ingapierca in the dark. So we spend the rest of the evening walking the streets of Cuenca and eating Helato (ice cream). Cuenca is a medium sized town, but very nice and a lot safer than Guayaquil. Our guide even left us to walk around on our own and we were out after dark (just as a comparison to Guayaquil).

The room we had in Cuenca was on the main hall way of the hotel which was not good for light or noise. Blythe slept horribly, pretty much up from midnight to 4am and we had to be up by 6:30am to get in the car by 7am.

We loaded up and headed to Ingapierca at 7am. The driver and guide had told us it was a 45min - 1 hour drive and it ended up being every bit of 2.5 hours. The roads were bad and windy, not good for those who get motion sickness easily. The hardest part to swallow about the long drive was the fact that we would have to take this SAME route the next day to get to Banos, but the driver and guide did not think it was safe for us to go to inguapierca with our luggage on the top. I can't really say much about the Ingua reuins because Blythe was having too much fun with the rocks and the llamas so I spend most of the tour with her and the rocks and not hearing the history, BUT once your a mom its all about having a happy baby, right??

We got back to Cuenca about 4pm and booked it to a museum that Becky wanted to see. We arrived there at 4:45pm and found out that it closed at 5pm because of the electricity outages. They have mandatory electricity shut off on Mondays at certain hours so we didn't get to go to the museum. Instead we took Blythe to a park to play around and then had dinner. Oh and we had another HORRIFIC night, 2 nights, not sleep, here goes day #4


Travel Day and Day 1 in Guayaquil

Blythe was a rock star on the plane ride. She slept the entire trip from DFW to Miami. Our plan was over an hour late getting into Miami and we literally had to RUN to catch our connecting flight. The plane was waiting for us and we were the last ones to board. Blythe was awake for the 4 hour flight from Miami to Guayaquil, but that was excellent because then she was good and tired for the evening. We arrive din Guayaquil at 11:30 and of course as we suspected our luggage didn't make it. It took a fair amount of time for us to report our lost luggage and Blythe finally zonked out in the stroller about midnight (11pm Texas time). She was SO exhausted that she didn't wake up as we got into the car (no car seat, it was checked), and then into the hotel. She didn't even wake up for a before bedtime feeding and if you know Blythe you know she doesn't miss a feeding! Guayaquil is the most dangerous city we are visiting and we had a police escort our van to the hotel. According to Wilman (our guide) even the locals have a police escort because of the high crime rate targeted at people who have just left the airport.

Our first day in Guayaquil was HOT and we were all in pants and long sleeves. We hit up the first clothing shop we could find and all purchased a short sleeved shirt. We spent the day walking around the city with Wilman. We took an hour long boat ride for lunch and it was nice and relaxing. We ate Octopus among other fish and it was really tasty. Wilman advised us not to give it to Blythe so she didn't get a taste. Blythe has mainly eaten bread, but we did have avocado for dinner last night and she ate quite a bit of it.

I better sign off and go pack our bags, we are scheduled to leave for Cuenca in 20 minutes.

P.S. no time to re-read or edit and the keyboard is slightly different so excuse the type-


We Can Only Go Up From Here......

There's nothing like starting out a vacation feeling like you have been hit by a freight train. Lat night was the WORST night we have had with Blythe since her birth. At 9:00pm I decided it was time to head to bed in hopes of getting a good night sleep the night before our departure. The grandparents and aunts and uncles would just have to wait until tomorrow to see Blythe (they were still at Byron's band concert). I decided to turn on Blythe's Enya music since the house would probably be less than quiet once everyone arrived home. Blythe and I were sleeping soundly until midnight. Jason decided he wanted to turn Blythe's music down, which was located right by her bed, and while thumbing around to find the volume and eventually turning the music off Blyhe woke up. O.K. minor hiccup lay her back down, cover her up, and say night, night, just like any other night, right??? WRONG. Blythe was UPSET and we aren't just talking whining or a few cries here or there, we are talking all out screaming. Jason decides to put her in the bed for a few minutes to calm her down, BIG mistake. Once he decides she was calmed down and put her back in the pack 'n play she was having NOTHING to do with it. Jason and I tag teamed the next 3 hours with rocking, walking, eating, drinking, and out of desperation we put her in the closet to see if she would cry it out quickly and pass out from exhaustion..no luck. Blythe was happy as a clam as long as you were not trying to get her to go to sleep and there was a light on, but hello it was the wee hours of the night and it wasn't fair to the other members of the household for her to keep them awake (her screams would have kept an entire hotel awake).

Finally at 3am I decided I would try to nurse Blythe one last time in the rocking chair/recliner and just sleep with here there. Well I lucked out and Blythe finally fell asleep around 3:15am, but the recliner was broke and I couldn't make it recline. I stayed there for as long as I could in hopes that she was good and out. I then very slowly crept my way back into bed (Blythe popped her head up, but I was able to pat her back). I layed in the bed with her sprawled across me until 4:30am. At this point her sleeping and me not sleeping, but possible dosing in and out was better than the prospect of her screaming anymore. Finally at 4:30am I decided she had to be out enough for me to roll off me, luckily she stayed asleep, but only until 7AM!

PLEASE tell me that she has this out of her system (I have NO idea what last night was about and I can't imagine going through that at a hotel).

Ecuador Day #1 - please be better than yesterday.

P.S. she is napping in the pack 'n play so hopefully this a good sign.


A Sweet Moment

As most of you know, our little Blythe is not really into cuddling and would rather be on her own two feet than in arms. This is normally a great thing, but there are times when you see other moms holding a baby who is loving on them or out cold on their shoulder. Our typical bed time routine is nurse, then say prayer, night night, and cover her up. I went through our typical routine on Monday, but when I left the room Blythe was NOT happy. I thought, “hum, she sounds pretty upset, but I will give her a few minutes.” A few minutes came and went and she was still very upset. I went back into the room to lay her down, but she was still laying down and under the covers, but screaming. I rubbed her back for about a minute and then left the room, she was quiet while I was rubbing her back, but was NOT happy when I left again. I waited a few more minutes and just though “man, she is really upset I don’t think I have heard her scream like that in a long time, if ever.” So I went back into the room (Jason was at the neighbors eating pizza) picked her up and sat in the rocking chair. I said “Blythe lay you head down on mommas shoulder,” and I was shocked when she actually did. I rocked her, patted her back, and sang her the our father, a few advent songs, some Christmas carols (it would have been embarrassing if someone had heard not only my awful singing voice, but also my lack of memory on the words). Blythe was instantly comforted and within minutes had fallen asleep. It was such a sweet moment to sit in the rocking chair singing to my precious baby. That morning we had Bible study and one of the questions was “How are you celebrating Advent this year and sharing it with your family?” Honestly, I didn’t have an answer much less a good answer, so in a way God gave me this moment to share advent with Blythe and to sing to her about Jesus in the manger, and silent night, etc. I know she probably didn’t get as much from it as I did, but I wanted to share my sweet moment with my sweet baby girl.


15 Month Appt.

Where has our little fatty hatty gone?? Do you guys remember this porker?


She was in the 75th percentile for weight and length

Now our little slim jim is in the 25th percentile for weight, weighing in at 20 pounds 13 ounces (full clothed) and the 50th percentile for height, stretching just 30 inches.

Poor Blythe had to endure 6 shots yesterday. 4 routine 15 months shots and an extra 2 (regular flu and H1N1) since we are going to Ecuador. While the shots were being administered she wasn't too happy, but she quickly got over it and doesn't seem to have any side effects today.

Today we had our 10 week appointment for Baby W II and everything is looking good. I actually lost 1/2 a pound (I know water weight), but at least I am not gaining yet :)

Funny story: a few weeks ago I heard Blythe kinda wining, but in good tough mom mode I thought she'll figure it out, well she continued for a little while so I decided I better go see what was up, when I went into the living room I saw that she was holding the lamp upside down (bulb towards the floor) and trying to put it back. Thank goodness she decided to catch it, but why the heck was she messing with the lamp in the first place? Yes, I did feel a little guilty that I didn't go in there right away since my poor toddlers was trying to 'save the lamp' and didn't quite have the muscle capacity to do it.