30 September 2007

Chasing the wind.......turbine


This week Noah introduced us to his new passion... the Wind Turbine. Although it is quite far on the horizon viewable from our house (we estimate about 3km away), Noah can see it through the trees from his bedroom, just above the fence from the garage, and the best spot of all from our bedroom window.

All this week Noah has been pointing at the wind turbine and making the motion of the turbine arms going round and round, and if we even so much as hint we're going upstairs he is desperate to come up to our bedroom so he can see it too. Every morning, the first thing he wants to do as soon as the curtain is up in his room is peek out to see if he can spot it turning away in the distance.

So yesterday we thought we'd give our precious boy a close-up and took a walk right up to the wind turbine. It's about a half hour walk each way along the possum fence dirt track which borders Karori Sanctuary. It's pretty steep in places, but Markie didn't complain a bit about the extra 11kg on his back! Every time we caught a glimpse of the turbine at various points as we got closer, you couldn't mistake the excitement in Noah's voice as he pointed to it.

We started Daylight Savings overnight so we had been a little worried about how Noah would cope with the hour's change in routine but so far so good? We only let him have one sleep both yesterday and today and put him to bed half an hour earlier last night before it started and another half an hour earlier again tonight so fingers crossed he'll get used to going to bed in the light pretty quickly.

This week Noah has also been interested in learning parts of the face and body (eyes, nose and right down to the toes) so the Head Shoulders Knees & Toes song has come in quite handy. He will gently touch our eyelids when we ask where our eyes are, it's very sweet. He has also taken quite an interest in helping to brush Murphy who is losing his winter coat as he does at this time every year and is pretty gentle with him in the process.

We had Noah's pre-assessement for his operation on Tuesday morning, now that the operation is only 2 weeks away it is feeling a little more scary and real. At this stage it is booked in for Friday 12 October in the afternoon, the procedure itself is less than an hour, and even though it won't be till about 1pm we would hopefully expect to be able to be home again later in the afternoon. We also need to pray that his cough and cold will clear up in the next week as he needs to be physically fit in order to have the operation. I have to admit I hadn't thought too much about his recovery afterwards but the doctors have said we will have to limit his physical activity for a few days as he will have a few stitches to recover from. Mum is scheduled to come down for a few days the following week Tuesday till Saturday so she has agreed (although hope you know what you're in for Mum!) to look after Noah for a couple of days. If he bounces back quickly we would hope he might be able to go to daycare on the Friday before Labour Weekend, as he will then start full-time there on the Tuesday which we're really looking forward to.

He has seemed so happy and settled at his new daycare that our minds are really at ease about our decision to go there, because we did agonise over it at the time. The teachers are wonderful and have welcomed both him and us so warmly, and Noah has been right in the thick of things amongst all the other children when we have been to pick him up so it really does give us a great deal of joy and relief to see him so happy in his new environment.

And so into another week...

24 September 2007

Family Fun

This week has been a hundred times better than last so we are quite relieved! Noah seemed a lot more relaxed and in better spirits this week, partly we are sure due to feeling so much better with the course of antibiotics taking effect, but also due to getting into the swing of his new routines. It was his first full day at day-care on Wednesday which went superbly by all accounts and he seemed totally contented and happy when we picked him up at 5pm.

He was due to go all day again on Friday, but unfortunately wasn’t able to go for the second Friday in a row as he developed an all over body rash on Friday morning which we suspected might be hand, foot and mouth again, but the doctor was fairly sure it wasn’t and thankfully it hasn’t developed into anything more serious over the weekend.

This week it was my turn to take the day off and it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day to have to take a sick day, so much so that we spent the morning outside playing with his new toy library toy – a set of plastic canals that can be filled with water, and then the afternoon was spent at Lyall Bay beach watching the planes landing and playing in the sand. It could have easily been a summer’s day, with very little wind and calm seas. I can envisage us spending many more happy days at the beach this summer as a family, and I’m already looking forward to it!



Then Saturday morning, the three of us journeyed up to New Plymouth to spend the weekend with Mum, Dad and Granma. Long journeys are always a bit of an unknown for our boy who is not known for his ability to sleep during the day, but he proved to be remarkably settled and the journey passed very uneventfully. Again it was a very warm day, and once at Granma’s we all got into cooler clothes and spent the late afternoon sitting outside listening to the birdsong and enjoying the fresh air. Of all the times we have come to visit Granma, I can’t say I have ever before sat out in the back garden and just appreciated nature like that, and I pondered it’s one of the ways God keeps us child-like, to make us take time out of our otherwise busy lives and see things through our children’s eyes, the pure unadulterated joy in seeing the moon in the sky, the blossoms on the trees, and the feel of grass underfoot.



Noah’s walking has continued to gain in both speed and confidence, at times this weekend he has almost been trotting along at a fair pace, and he seems very steady on his feet and able to turn himself around and bend over to pick things up all the while tootling along.

Sunday we spent a quiet morning in at home, and then we went out for lunch to a most fantastic winery cafĂ© called Okurukuru on the coast between New Plymouth and Oakura. The setting is just stunning, a cliff-top location with views back to Paratutu and the Sugar Loaf volcanic islands, rolling hills of planted vines and the obligatory New Zealand cattle in nearby paddocks. It is also totally child friendly with a large playground area and children’s menu. The food was gorgeous and incredibly reasonably priced, and a lovely time was had by us all. Noah took it all in his stride helping to eat all of Daddy’s mushrooms (and it was his first time ever trying them) as well as some of Mummy’s risotto, not to mention having a Fluffy all to himself!

One of the many cute things Noah did for the first time this weekend, was to start fluttering his eyes at people. It is a very distinct blink and smile at the same time and he spent the whole weekend practising it on everyone at every opportunity. We also spent time teaching him Nana, Poppa and Gee Gee (our new name for Great Granma – “GG” which we thought would be easier to learn), and he definitely knew them all by the end of the weekend. He was also quite fascinated by ‘Diddy’ aka Panda (Granma’s cat). Diddy is his name for Murphy and he was very excited to have a new friend to follow around all weekend. He is incredibly gentle with the cats, and only wants to briefly touch their fur.

Late Sunday afternoon, the three of us took a walk down the Te Henui walkway, reminiscent of the same walk we did this time last year when Mark’s mum was also with us when we discovered hidden dells and avenues of gorgeous spring colour. I had high hopes of seeing the beautiful spring blossoms again (magnolia, Awanui cherry, apple blossom, camellia and rhododendron) and was not at all disappointed. Noah even took an interest in the blossoms and carried a particularly pretty sprig home with him in the stroller.


Today was our long journey home (4.5 hours with no breaks but about 7 hours with a break at both Wanganui and Otaki. During our stop at Wanganui we managed to fit in some grocery shopping to get our cheap petrol discount, and then we drove back up to Virginia Lake to sit by the lake to eat our lunch as we spotted lots of ducks on our way past and knew Noah would enjoy this. As it turned out, the best bit of all was a sweet little bird aviary we were able to go inside at the lake, Noah was in seventh heaven, there was so much to see that he didn’t know where to look or point at next!


Unfortunately the rain set in as we were finishing our lunch so we didn’t actually get to go down to the lakeside to see the ducks, so it was back on the road for us. Noah obviously hadn’t let off quite enough steam, so was awake all the way to Otaki where we stopped for another hour to let him walk and walk and walk and walk to try and tire him out enough for another sleep (well we managed about 15 minutes before a coughing fit woke him up!). And so home finally at 4.30! What a wonderful few days spent together as a family, it really has been a special time and so nice to have a few days without worry about nannies, daycare and routines where we could enjoy the company of our beautiful little boy whose personality is blossoming more each day.

16 September 2007

Week of weeks

I think the best thing that can be said about this week is that we're glad its over. This probably sounds a little bit melodramatic but it hasn't been an easy week for us as a family one way or another.

Tuesday was a definite improvement on Monday (the date of our last post) for Michelle and Noah bonding and by all accounts they had a nice day together, swimming in the morning, some painting in the afternoon and walking to meet me halfway home from work.

Wednesday Noah and I went to his new daycare for a couple of hours settling in. This went amazingly well I thought and Noah seemed more than happy to toddle off and explore various things close by before coming back to check that Mum was still there. We met all the teachers (who all seemed lovely) and Noah seemed to enjoy sitting and eating morning tea and then a whole bowl of fish pie with the other children. After meeting Mark for a spot of lunch in town we took a long walk home via the park which is where I snapped the great shot below of Noah peeking through a wall at me. However, that afternoon he developed quite a bad eye infection in both eyes which of course put paid to being able to spend the next two days settling in at daycare as conjunctivitis is one of the big no-no's when it comes to kids being able to attend since it is pretty infectious.

So Thursday Michelle ended up doing a whole day including bringing Noah in to the doctors and we went away with a course of eye ointment for his eyes, and antibiotics to help try and shake what the doctor thinks is a bacterial infection causing the horrible phlegmy cold and cough that the two of us have had for the last 3 weeks. As Noah still couldn't attend daycare on Friday and I had a suddenly unexpectedly busy workload Mark had to take Friday off to spend with Noah (who by all accounts was a lot perkier than the previous day).

Saturday morning I took off for my first ever night away from Noah, travelling up to Havelock North with my friend Caroline to go to our dear friend Tracey's 30th. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Caroline and being a part of Tracey's big day, but did wish that Mark and Noah could have been there too (although as it turns out it was possibly a wise decision that they weren't after an already pretty unsettling week). Mark coped magnificently well on his own by all accounts, particularly since unbeknownst to him Noah threw up (we think at about 11pm) and Mark only discovered it this morning. So the boys had to have an unplanned early morning shower, and then had to sort out all the bedclothes etc. Luckily I had always planned to come back early (arriving back on the first flight into Wellington at 8.30 this morning), so we were able to pitch in and work as a team to get through the rest of the day. Tonight Noah has had to make do with a makeshift mattress protector (3 towels on top of each other), and makeshift blankets since his are woollen and we can't exactly put them in the dryer! The poor wee man has gone to bed in a room that still smells decidely shady even after having the windows open for most of the day and spraying various fresheners around.


I don't want to make out like the week has been completely awful, there have been some lovely moments (Noah has become quite fascinated with planes and helicopters to add to his bird fascination), and he has become so adept at pointing them out to us, often he will spot them at the same time if not before us! In the morning when we get him up, we look out the window to see if we can see any birds in the nearby trees and he is much quicker to spot them even than I am! So today we ended up parking up very near the runway to watch some planes landing and taking off, but we think we may have been a tad too close for Noah's comfort as the 737 taking off at such close proximity proved a bit too much for Noah and he screamed rather loudly and then was not too keen on even seeing the smaller ones going after that. Next time we'll find a nice vantage point much further away from all the noise to indulge him in what appears to be a growing love of planes.

He is walking pretty well now just in the space of 10 days, and our next challenge is to find a couple more pairs of shoes so that he can have some more outside-type shoes for daycare as his gorgeous giraffe Bobux shoes are leather soled and will get ruined pretty quickly, but we also don't want to be spending a fortune if they're going to get dirty or lost. At this stage we want to get shoes that are still soft-soled to aid his ability to walk not clump, but we still want ones that will stay on!


I am not sure if it is down to feeling unwell, or his teeth which just keep on popping through, or the change in routines but Noah seems particularly clingy at the moment and will often cry the minute I leave the room (or Mark if it is just the two of them) or alternatively he wants to be picked up more frequently than a few weeks ago. It's so hard to know how much to give in to this, or to just say 'Noah you're fine' and distract him with other things. At the moment it feels like so much is changing/has changed for us, and as adults who understand why it is happening it is still difficult to accept at times, so how much more so must it be for our gorgeous boy whose daytime routine has been quite topsy-turvy this past week to say the least.

Our prayers tonight are for a much smoother, gentler ride for the week ahead.

10 September 2007

These are changing times...

The past week has seen the end of a wonderful 5 months for Noah at PPK, and heralded in a new era with Michelle the nanny 3 days a week and a new daycare the other two. We went along to the last hurrah for PPK at Friday, and whilst everyone was very upbeat and positive about their futures (both families and teachers), there was also a huge amount of sadness and regret that such a fantastic community creche has had to close due to reasons outside of anyone's control. Noah (aka Mummy) wrote all the teachers a wee thank you note to let them know how much he had treasured the time he had there, even though it was so short and sweet in the end. The photos below are of some of the fantastic teachers at PPK in order left to right, top to bottom Talaina, Melissa, Jodette and Sarah.


Noah started walking unaided this week, and on Thursday night he did about 30 steps all at once, so it was lovely for all the teachers to see him reach this milestone before PPK closed as he had been so close to it for a while. Since then, he is trying to walk at every opportunity, albeit with a few trips and tumbles along the way, but you can tell he is extremely proud of himself for such an achievement.

On Saturday, Noah had his first haircut, not a pleasurable experience for any of us as he cried throughout the whole proceedings, but He looks so grown up and a real little boy now without his curls. It was almost as if the minute his hair was cut, he seemed to grow overnight in terms of his ability to understand everything around him. This week he has pointed out and recognised mouse, lion, giraffe when we asked 'Where's the xxxxx?'. He also has started to copycat what we're doing, the other morning I flew a toy wooden plane around in the air which he promptly copied with appropriate 'bbbbrrrrrmmmm' noises to boot. He has also started feeding himself really well with a spoon to the extent that we don't really have to feed him at all other than to help get his spoon loaded up. What an amazing week of development it has been for him!



Sunday we spent four hours with Michelle trying to help her and Noah get acquainted, he wasn't in the best of moods as his teeth and a nasty phlegmy cough/cold seemed to be giving him grief. He warmed up eventually to Michelle but was pretty clingy at times, and not overly happy even with us. So we were a bit nervous about how today was going to go. I think it was a pretty tough first day today both for Noah and Michelle, he wouldn't go to sleep easily, and was pretty upset at various times during the day. Michelle brought him into town to see both me and Mark and he was a box of birds then and seemed very comfortable with her and happy to go to her for cuddles etc, I think this week is just going to be a a real one of settling in to new routines for all of us, so we will just have to pray for Noah to warm to Michelle quickly and for her to have lots of grace and understanding if he takes a while to get used all the new routines.

Wednesday I have the day off to take Noah to the new daycare for a couple of hours to introduce him to everyone there, Thursday I'll take him in again and he'll hopefully stay for the morning and a sleep, and then Michelle will look after him for the rest of the afternoon, then hopefully on Friday he'll stay at daycare for most of the day. And that'll be the end of the most unsettling week for our beautiful boy we hope.


We will continue to pray that God keeps us all in the palm of his hand. We felt a great deal of peace when we made this decision that it was the best for our family so we have to continue to believe that the same God who can calm a furious storm by just speaking to it is in control of every moment of each day.

03 September 2007

Spring has sprung!!

Well Spring arrived on Saturday morning and what a cracker the first morning was!! We had an early morning with Noah waking up at 5.45am, so we were off to the supermarket at the break of dawn for an early shop to tire the wee man out.

When we got home we all had breakfast and decided it was nice enough (at 9am) to open all the doors to the courtyard and lounge and have the sun streaming in on us all.


We had been without our espresso coffee machine for 4 weeks (it was new, but something fell off it which wasn't supposed to happen, so we got it fixed under the warranty), so having just got it back it got a good workout as me and Meghan enjoyed coffees sitting out in the sun and relaxing whilst Noah had a sleep.

Some friends joined us for lunch (corn fritters and salad outside in the courtyard) which is when it got REALLY windy. Within about an hour, it got upto 100kms an hour, so a trip out in the car followed to some dodgy second hand clothing warehouse (in what could be Wellington's version of the Bronx) and a stop at the Warehouse for some supplies (chocolate, chocolate and chocolate!!!).

Sunday was Fathers day (My second one as a daddy!!) and I was given free rein to do what I wanted. It started off with a mountain bike ride for 3 hours with some mates (6 of us, all dads!!!), a game of indoor netball, a walk to see the ducks with my family and then a well earned rest on the couch with my fathers day prezzie....a box of scorched almonds (YUM YUM YUM!!). It was a great feeling to be recognised as a daddy, and something only dads can feel....I can't wait until Noah can actually tell me he loves me (hopefully!!??!) and spend the day mountain biking with me.


Anyway, from Noah's point of view still no unaided walking (although so much closer than last week) just a loose grip on your finger and he's happy to give it a go....Heaps of talking (Daadee is for me - Daddy and DDDAAAAA is for Mummy??? ha ha, Meghan loves that - NOT) and about 100 sets of teeth coming through all at once (ok a slight exageration, but about 7 teeth including 3 molars are on their way through, lets just hope it happens quickly!)

One more week to go at PPK, so a bit of a sad week for Noah, as he really does love it there. Lets just hope his new life moving forward at Early Years and with a Nanny (in the short term) is just as enjoyable and he makes lots of new friends. Until next week......


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