04 July 2007

The Year So Far

We thought it was high time we set up a webpage, to keep a record of some of the awesome moments we're having together as a family, and so you, our friends and family can keep up with what we're up to! So a bit of a download on the year so far:
January
This was a busy month all round for us, Meghan spent much of of her last few weeks at home with Noah packing the house up for our move from 'The Valley' up to the dizzying heights of Highbury, which as the crow flies was probably only 500 metres. Mark (aka Daddy Daycare) took over from Meghan looking after Noah on the 23rd when Meghan went back to work after her six month's maternity leave was over all too quickly. 4 days later Mark's parents arrived from the UK for a month and were able to help us out with the big move up the road a few days later.

February
We spent a lovely month enjoying our big new house with plenty of space for us and Mark's parents and even my parents and brothers who also came to stay at various points. We were able to have Noah dedicated at church on the 11th of February, and it was fantastic to have both sets of grandparents there on the day and many of our friends. Then the five of us (Meg, Mark, Mark's parents and Noah) went on a 5-day road trip around the South Island starting at Picton, and driving to Christchurch the first day. We spent a lovely hour or so in Kaikoura and we're pretty sure we saw a whale in the distance driving along the coast, and we also enjoyed a gorgeous winery lunch in Waipara Springs.




Day Two was the absolutely awe-inspiring drive from Christchurch to Greymouth over Arthurs Pass. Mark's parents took the TranzAlpine scenic train over while we drove in our car. We had perfect weather, and got some stunning shots. It's hard not to put about a dozen shots in here from that day as the scenery was ever changing ever few minutes from the plains of Canterbury, to the heights of Castle Hill and the Pass itself and then the lusher West Coast side complete with beautiful lakes where we stopped for lunch.



Day Three we spent on the West Coast at Shanty Town (a pioneer village), Hokitika for a cafe lunch and a view of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps in the distance and around Greymouth. Day Four we drove up the West Coast past Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks) and stopped for lunch at the Bayhouse Cafe which had been highly recommended (and rightly so to us) by some locals. We couldn't believe how warm and tropical the weather was this day, we all felt like we were on an island somewhere and not on the notoriously soggy West Coast!





Day Five was a drive through some gorgeous wine country, to brunch at a cafe in Havelock and a stunning drive back through the Sounds to Picton. All in all a magical time, and a holiday that we'll never forget!

March
Mark's parents had no sooner left at the end of February when 2 days later Mark had a run-in with a tree root whilst off-road running early on a Saturday morning. After 20 stitches and 3 weeks of rest, he was back on the road to recovery. It did however make being an at-home Dad looking after Noah somewhat of a challenge as he was pretty restricted in what he could do without bending his knee. As it turned out, Mark's 3 months at home with Noah only ended up being 2 when a place became available at one of our preferred daycare centres in the centre of Wellington and we felt we really should take it even if it was a month earlier than planned. So Noah spent a week settling in and started full-time on the 26th.




April
We took our first long road-trip up to my parents to stay in their newly built house in Hamilton over Easter, and decided after doing so that it's not a trip to be done lightly with a baby! What would usually take us 6.5 hours took 10 hours with 3 stops along the way for Noah to have a stretch, food and some playtime! We were again blessed with great warm weather (and were in fact overdressed for the few days we were up there). We were able to catch up with both my brothers which was pretty special as Nic then left to go and live in Sydney and attend bible college for 2 years (having just finished the very long but satisfying project of building M&D's house himself) and we also saw a property that Sam has bought out in Raglan and has plans for development etc. On the way home, we stopped in Taihape for a break which is where we took this gorgeous shot which is one of our favourites of Noah. Lucky he looks so cute at that very moment as we then had to endure 2 hours of crying once we left Taihape and he wouldn't sleep. What a way to spend your 30th birthday (me) and 29th birthday (Mark), travelling in the car with a crying baby! We got home in the end and treated ourselves to pizza and wine and I was also able to celebrate in style a week or so later when we had a whole lot of friends over one Saturday afternoon.





May
Noah settled in really well to day-care but we had to take the good with the bad in that he came down with 2 bad cold/flus in 2 weeks, then when we had just gotten over that, he had more time off when he sprung 4 new teeth in a week and was a bit miserable. No sooner had we rallied, and he was off again with hand, foot and mouth disease (a bit like mild chickenpox but highly contagious so he was at home again for a few days). So in a 2-month period we worked out that he had about 10 days off sick which apparently is par for the course with most kids who start daycare as they just get every bug under the sun until they start to build up an immunity.
In May we also spent a lovely weekend up in New Plymouth visiting my gran and my parents also came down to stay. We particularly enjoyed the breaks we took in Wanganui on the way there and back, as we found two beaut little cafes to visit which were child friendly. Noah particularly enjoyed the fountain and climbing up the steps to the Sargent Gallery!





June
June was a pretty hectic month for us, with nothing much of note on but it just flew by all the same. I helped co-ordinate a 7-week antenatal course which saw me out every Thursday night, and in the last week of June Mark was away a couple of nights in Auckland which I found a bit challenging on my own (not helped by a puncture in the stroller tyre which made it a little tricky to get home from town and even trickier to fix having never done it before!). We have just had my gran down to stay for the weekend which was wonderful. Even though the weather was soggy and we couldn't do anything outdoors we still had a lovely time. On the Sunday we all went to our antenatal group's combined 1st birthday for the 8 babies who will be turning one in the next 6 weeks (Noah included!). It was fun to see everyone as it had been a good couple of months since we had seen all the babies and they had all developed a lot during that time. At the moment we are just loving our time with Noah, June was a huge month of development for him, he started waving his arms (his equivalent of dancing to music), clapping, walking (with the aid of a trolley/walker) and saying 'hiya' or 'riya' to be more precise. We're taking loads of video of him at the moment since its so important to be catching these milestones when they happen and so we can share them with others!





Looking ahead
Well now that we have the webpage up and running, I'm aiming to update it with our happenings at least weekly (how well we do against that will remain to be seen but that is the plan!). Well we hope you have enjoyed this little update as much as we have enjoyed writing it and will look forward to many more in the weeks to come as we do fun family things together, watch Noah grow and share in lots of little milestones along the way.
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