Everyone tells you that babies grow fast, and we can now attest the same…

…although Kepler IS growing even faster than most babies his age. HA! Well done Kepler in making the 90+ percentile :).

The past 6 months have flown by. Now that Kepler is bigger, and NZ summer is approaching, we’re eager to explore the country with him – especially to visit the Kepler Track, which inspired his namesake!

Until we can though, I am reminded daily that there is extraordinary in the daily ordinary. We have adventures every day with Kepler. Every smile, every milestone, every meltdown, every cuddle…is an adventure. Learning how to become a parent is an adventure. Discovering Kepler’s personality is an adventure. As cliche as it sounds, he is also our favorite adventure.

Check out how Kepler has grown!

Month by month, watch him grow!

13091929_10105516127777560_3368351063020489787_n   13532857_10105710199531210_5565452474525652556_n 13568776_10105720692632950_6038209341851439417_o   13925979_10105848443953280_1127321193177513181_o 14257594_10105948428997450_3498009017886951779_o  14700776_10106077811708460_1606252630064581748_o

Here are some of the BIG (and small) milestones and “firsts” in these past six months:

Kepler’s first road trip around the South Island with Grandma Jenny (GJ). He was about 8 weeks old. We visited Mt Cook Village (NZ’s highest mountain-photo right), Lake Tekapo (photo left), and Lake Wanaka. 

dsc_3374 dsc_3393  

Kepler gets baptized in June, at about 2 months old, at Grace Presbyterian Church, by our pastor Rusty.  

dsc_0230   dsc_0247

Kepler started swimming lessons at 9 weeks old (left), and now loves the water…he even goes underwater to do “duckling dives”! He is getting so big and wiggly (just like a fish), as he shows off his ONE-YEAR-OLD-sized swimsuit at 6 months old (right). He loves splashing, chasing after pool toys, and rolling along a mat to plop into the water

dsc_3457  img_20161019_101459.

USA Trip

We visited home in Atlanta from July 15-August 19 so family and friends could meet Kepler. He was amazing on the flights and loved all the attention :)

Kepler’s first trans-Pacific, 24+ hour flight at 3 months old was a success, and he met is grandfathers, aunties and uncles for the first time!

img_3001   img-20160717-wa0001

Kepler even met his extended family cousins, and great aunties and uncles from the McClure side, who drove down to Georgia to spend time with us and him. 

img_6976   img_3028

Nana Lu hosted a “Sip N See” Party for friends to come and meet Kepler on our first day home in the US. For being jet-lagged, he was an absolute trooper! 

dsc_3765   dsc_3771  dsc_3777   dsc_3775

dsc_3761   dsc_3752

 The Foresters’ Perimeter friends hosted a Baby Shower for Kepler, and lavished him with wonderful 6+ month clothes, as well as NEW PRAM! I was beyond excited to finally have a set of wheels for the little munchkin. 

dsc_3841  dsc_3810 dsc_3804

dsc_3822   dsc_3830

Kepler’s first weekend at Lake Lanier, which included his first boat ride and an opportunity to sport his new togs (kiwi slang for swim suit). 

img_0027_2   img-20160818-wa0000

img_0019_2

Great-Grandma Betty flew down from Illinois to meet Kepler. #4generationpicture

dsc_4071

Both sides of the families:

dsc_4076 dsc_4113

Kepler visited Universal Studios Orlando at about 4 months old to celebrate Daddy’s 30th birthday! He got to see Hogwarts Castle, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Jurassic Park, and more. He even got to try his first butterbeer (via breastmilk)! Thanks Nana Lu and Papi for coming alongside us to make it happen. Thanks Kepler for being so cute that you helped us skip a few lines. And thanks Universal for thinking of the most glorious concept of “Baby-Swap” rooms. 

img_0104_2 img_0172_2

img_0108_2 img_0182_2 img_0125

Back in Christchurch:

Kepler has two playgroups that he hangs out with every week in Christchurch. One through Mum’s prenatal aqua yoga swim friends (left), and another through Plunket, an organization that monitors child growth Birth – 5 and supports mothers with classes, advice and services (right). 

img_20160927_114854-2 dsc_4671

Kepler discovered why Christchurch is called the “Garden City” when spring arrived this year. He even tasted his first daffodil when Mum wasn’t paying attention. Here he is about 5 months old. 

dsc_4545   dsc_4555   dsc_4588 dsc_4603  dsc_4624dsc_4377

Kepler tried pureed solids at 5 1/2 months old. His first meal was a mix of pumpkin, kumara (sweet potato), and carrot. He LOVED it, and hasn’t refused any foods yet. He has since tried chicken, toast, kiwi fruit, plum, pear, apple, sweetcorn, mashed potato, lentils, chickpeas, banana and avocado, but we’re suspicious that these latter two hurt his tummy. 

14731097_10106086027074800_7566582856008195704_n  14231834_10105925084455100_8793003264714032389_o

img_20160927_131254   dsc_4436   dsc_4429

First trip to the beach in New Brighton, Christchurch (6 months old)

img_20161019_160006   dsc_4874dsc_4879

 

 

And that’s a wrap on his first six months. He is still our smiley, cruisy, and happy boy! He is very mellow and sleeps pretty well at night (for the most part).

14257465_10105948428962520_8660539420042140572_o

First month highlights:  Met Nana Lulu, first smile, first trip to the park (Abberley Park), first time attending church, Newborn Photo Shoot, day trip to Kaikoura, first car ride, met Uncle Tony and Auntie Lindsey

Second month highlights: first immunizations, first airplane ride, first babysitter, first Mother’s Day, slept through the night, first road trip, met your GJ, recognized us and our voices

Third month highlights: first swimming lesson, found your hands, baptized, rolled over from tummy to back, first Father’s Day, grasped objects in your hands, received your kiwi passport

Fourth month highlights: experienced summer for the first time, first long-term babysitter, met your extended family, saw the USA, slept in a crib, laughed out loud, developed ability to grasp and hold toys

Fifth month highlights: recognized his name for the first time, had enough hair to create your first bed head, went underwater at swim lessons, first boat ride, Dad’s 30th birthday, first trip to an amusement park

Sixth month highlights: rolled from your back to your tummy, first duckling dive at swimming class, tried solids for the first time (pumpkin, carrot, and kumara), graduated your Snugglefish swim group (0-6 month) and moved up to the Cuddlefish group (6-12 month), slept for 12 hours at night, jumped in jolly jumper, drank from a sippy cup, sat with support

Thanks for checking in with us as we continue #keepingupwithkepler