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.

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