30 March 2008

Fun in the Naki

Well we have just returned from a lovely weekend away with GeeGee (aka Great Granma) in Taranaki. We had a beaut trip up on Friday, stopping off in Otaki for a spot of factory outlet shopping. Two merino tops for us and a jacket for Noah later and we were back on our way. Then we stopped again at our favourite mid-point on the trip, Virginia Lake at Wanganui to let Noah run around for half an hour and get some fresh air. It was very warm and sunny in Wanganui and was a good few degrees warmer than Wellington (what's new!)

We are in the process of trying to put several of Noah's favourite DVDs on the iPod so that we have a bit of additional inflight entertainment for the big trip, particularly on the Lufthansa flights as we found out we are unlikely to have seat-back entertainment on 50% of the flights...doh...now we know why they were so cheap!!! Anyway we managed to get him to watch Iggle Piggle (In the Night Garden) and his Baby Einstein DVDs for about 10-15 minutes in the back of the car and he did look very cute with the headphones on... a real little techno dude at not quite 20 months old!

Noah was thrilled to see GeeGee and Panda the cat, and although the poor cat was not left alone the whole weekend he was very good with Noah, not quite as tolerant as Murphy but once he realised that Noah was going to be gentle and just wanted to cuddle he was a lot more willing to entertain Noah's attentions.

Saturday Noah was up well before it was light, 5.45 to be exact...ouch. My turn to get up and I deliberately didn't turn on any lights or let Noah make any noise till much closer to 7am so that he understood how early it was. He was keen to go and see the 'neigh (horses), woof woof (dogs), panda' but I had to keep telling them they were all still asleep. Same went for playing the 'miano' (piano).

We went up to see Great Nan for an hour and we couldn't believe the performance Noah made. In hindsight, I don't think he quite understood that we were going to see Great Nan and perhaps thought we were off to the park or somewhere that was going to be fun for him and we perhaps should have made a bit more of an explanation of it but boy did he show us up. He wouldn't look at Nan and cried and grizzled and lay on the floor and wouldn't be distracted for a good 10-15 minutes until Mark took him outside to look around the gardens... not his finest hour that's for sure. However, he was a box of birds when we got back to GeeGee's so perhaps unwittingly just showing a little favouritism.....hmmm.

After a nap (which I wish was for me but was just for Noah) we all went out to Okurukuru for lunch - it seems to be a regular haunt of us - and met up with Derek, Wendy and Bryn. Great to see them and hear all their news too.

It was a little disappointing as there were no helicopters there, but we had a very enjoyable drive back via the coast and port, and enjoyed views of Paratutu and its tower, the cranes and ships at the port as well as the BIGGEST tractor any of us had EVER seen!

We collected some walnuts from GeeGee's lawn and had a good go at cracking them open with a hammer, easier said than done without destroying the good stuff inside! Later before bedtime and to run off a bit of his last remaining energy from the day, Noah enjoyed riding his bike around the back lawn down a gentle slope and was really getting up some good speed and showing off his skills to GeeGee.

This morning dawned ...wet! And there were smiles all around. The Naki has been suffering from a severe lack of rain like many other parts of the country. Derek and Wendy are having to dry off their herd of cows now which is at least six weeks earlier than usual, so they like all farmers are really feeling the drought. I think up until this morning they had only had 4mm of rain the whole month of March so it was very welcome. It made for a damp trip home but that was a small price to pay to see some liquid gold finally falling from the sky!

This afternoon we had a lovely opportunity to briefly catch up with Ness and Bob back from the UK for a short visit. It was great to see them, as the last time was in a pub in London two years ago when Noah was just a bump in my tummy, and so it was equally as exciting this time to hear THEIR news of a baby on the way in September this year!

Well the countdown is on now... 20 days to go till the big trip and still so much to do, one day at a time hey!

We'll leave with you with a few photos of our highly enjoyable Easter Monday morning walk to the ducks, a play on the BIG slide at the botanical gardens, then home via both a digger AND cranes, Noah was totally in his element!

23 March 2008

We're going on a Easter Egg Hunt

This has been an up and down week for Noah - his teeth have certainly been giving him grief as evidenced by his waking two nights at midnight in obvious pain. It has continued to be tricky getting him down to sleep at night too, and after nearly two weeks of having to either wait in the room for him to fall asleep or standing just outside the door where he still could see us, we have made a decision to take more of a tougher stance rather than getting into a really bad habit that we can't break. Tonight we left him for about 20 minutes, and I have to say I have never heard screaming like it, it was pretty distressing. Mark then went in 4 times over the next 20 minutes to let him know he was not being abandoned and to try to calm him down. After the 4th time he didn't cry again and fell asleep. Knowing it's for his good is one thing, but having to live through the pain of teaching him is quite another, and this can make it extremely hard to justify to yourself exactly why you're doing it, as no parent likes to hear their child so upset, it is quite heartbreaking. After tonight's episode lasting 40 minutes, we just hope it will get easier from here on in.

Now onto a lighter note.......other than sleep issues we're enjoying a lovely relaxing Easter weekend together, Friday morning was a trip to the ducks for Mark & Noah, then in the afternoon we went for a walk around the local area finding Noah plenty of fresh wild blackberries before ending up at the park for some fun on the slides. I was given the task of hanging off a rather steep slope to get all the berries that no other sucker had managed to reach...and with good reason..it was more than a little scary surrounding by horrible thorny bushes and a very steep drop below! It was probably a little silly in retrospect but Noah did so enjoy the berries that it was kind of worth the risk! We are always so surprised at how little use our park gets, here we were on Good Friday afternoon at about 3pm with not much else open on a public holiday and yet we had the place to ourselves as we often do...which was brilliant!

On Saturday morning Noah and I spent another hour or so at the airport, having fun watching all the people, planes and activity. He definitely remembered his trip from last week as the first thing he wanted to find was the digger we had seen the week before, but alas it was not there this week, he did however remember the 'lollies' aka baggage trollies and pointed these out to me proudly. Saturday afternoon we went to one of Noah's daycare buddies 2-year birthday party at Hataitai Community House. It was a good fun afternoon and Noah particularly enjoyed getting in the rowboat and singing 'Row Row Row your Boat' especially the line 'If you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream' with a great amount of accompanied screaming and hand waving going on!

Sunday morning we went to church together and then had Shannon and Guy over for lunch - the first time they've had a day off together not working at their furniture store in a very long time. When Noah woke up from his nap Daddy 'hid' some easter eggs and a chocolate rabbit so we spent a lovely few minutes going around the garden tracking down all the eggs. Noah caught onto the idea very quickly and was so chuffed with himself each time he found another egg!

Daddy outlines the aim of the game to Noah....

And then Noah's off, searching searching to see how many eggs he can find....

And a great look of enjoyment as he gets to eat the spoils of the game!

This morning Noah and I discovered two spiderwebs or 'mymyweb' as he called them whilst we were watering the garden. He was very gentle and took note of what I said about just looking with our eyes and not touching it or we'd hurt the spider...this afternoon he also was most interested in a spider that he found crawling across the carpet and was happy to watch it running across his hands after Daddy (being braver than me) picked it up for him!

We couldn't resist leaving this week's post with a little clip of Noah's first ever Easter egg hunt today.....

16 March 2008

Big Crash

'Big Crash' is the word of the week for Noah. Or if it isn't 'Big Crash' where he throws himself around in great exuberance, it's 'Big Splash' in the bath at night accompanied by as much water leaving the bath as possible. Anything that can be 'big' this week generally is, 'Big Truck', 'Big Whale' etc.

He has been a little bit of a monkey this week though, crying when going down to bed 4 nights in a row. The amount of dribbling and hands in mouth suggest those troublesome last molars are probably on their way and from experience it does disturb him a wee bit, so we'll just have to bear with it. Having said that we managed to get him down no trouble last night (Sat) so it might be just an intermittent thing we have to deal with over the next wee while.

Otherwise, it has been a very much relieved household this week after our decision is now made to stay in the house. I've been able to focus on my study getting through a decent number of hours, Mark's had a few nights out and spent some of the weekend at the cricket (however he seems to have been revelling in England's success a little too exuberantly for my liking). And this weekend we have done absolutely NO cleaning..to be fair the house probably could have done with a bit of a vacuum and tidy but to not HAVE to do it for an open home today has felt like such a luxury that we've resisted any mad urges to race around and clean quite successfully!

Mark had his annual APX client 'Amazing Race' event on Friday afternoon and evening and one of the events involved a kayak out to a buoy in a harbour to 'Free Willy', a giant blow-up whale. Mark couldn't resist bringing it home and Noah has enjoyed cuddling and riding and crashing off Willy all weekend. As you can imagine from the size of Willy, Mark was a little green around the gills after blowing it up totally under his own steam yesterday morning!

With only 5 weeks to go until the big trip, we're doing all we can to educate Noah about the airport and what it will be like to be there amongst all the hustle and bustle of people, airplanes, shops, baggage trolleys, and other machinery. Whilst Mark did the grocery shopping, Noah and I spent a really lovely hour at the airport, watching planes taxiing, diggers digging and scooping concrete into a dump truck, baggage trolleys taking baggage to and fro between the aircraft and the terminal, and tankers transporting fuel around the airport. Noah was particularly interested in the bags coming out on the baggage carousel from behind the curtains and seeing people then pick them up and take them away. Then we left the airport on foot and found the underpass tunnel that goes right under the runway and comes out at our usual plane spotting location where we met Daddy with all the shopping.

Saturday afternoon, we went down to the waterfront and took the opportunity of free parking whilst getting our tyre checked to watch some dragon boat racing, and saw not ONE but TWO helicopters take off to film footage of the powerboat racing which was also on in the harbour. Noah had a few minutes fun on a merry go round before he decided it was all a bit too scary, cried his eyes out and we had to get him off - that's so our boy!!! Then Noah and Daddy went to the cricket for a couple of hours, leaving me to crack on with a couple of hours study.

Today, we headed down to the Italian Food Festival, but we thought it was a little overpriced compared to the Greek Festival a few weeks ago, and didn't stay too long. Then Mark headed off to the cricket, was home again for lunch, and then back to the cricket for the afternoon. It was a good day for England so a good day to be watching! Noah and I headed off this afternoon to the Kilbirnie pool to try out the brand new Spray Pool. The pool at Kilbirnie pool is the main Aquatic Centre for the greater Wellington region and the new kids' Spray Pool only opened last month. It is a really fantastic venue, with Spray Jets, a water SeeSaw, an animated aquarium, overhead buckets which empty water out, and various other cool water-related activities. Noah was (as usual) very unsure of all the noise and action and didn't appreciate being bombarded on all sides by the water to begin with, but once we headed over to the toddler pool, he soon found his stride. He found a mini stream flowing from a mini fountain and had great delight in sitting in the little pools that were created along the stream, and enjoyed putting his hand over top of the fountain and watching the water spray out everywhere. Unfortunately as I was on my own I couldn't get any action shots of him enjoying the pool so here's one I nabbed from the pool's website instead.

Otherwise, we've had a really great weekend, enjoying webcams with both grandparents as well as GeeGee and Nic (over from Oz for the weekend), and we're already loving the fact that next weekend is not that far away and will be long one to boot!

09 March 2008



Dad’s turn to write the blog this week…so short and sweet is the order of the day (although I’m sure I say that every time?)

We’ve had a busy week in our own jobs as well as keeping the house relatively tidy on the off chance a last minute buyer wanted to come and see the house. No one came and as it happened no tenders came in either. We weren’t surprised as the market really is flattening (even more so since we went on the market). We did agree to one more open home today (arrgghhhh – more blooming cleaning!!) but it was for the benefit of one interested party who could make a bid tomorrow night. So more waiting…but it’s going to have to be a really good bid to make us move!! Watch this space….

Noah is really starting to think about what he is going to say now with a massive ‘Ummmm’ before every gargled word or group of words. It’s quite cute actually…and I’m definitely blaming mum for that one!

This weekend consisted of a trip to the Kelburn Fair (with Jules aka Baba) for the first time ever!! Seeing that we’ve lived in the same area (Kelburn) for the last 5 years – it was well overdue. Daddy managed to get Noah a very cool ‘Scoop’ digger (from Bob the Builder) for only $1 from a jumble sale (like father like son…ha ha), but that very rare limited edition Swatch watch still eludes me….

A snarler (sausage), a nutella crepe and some fudge went down a treat whilst we also managed to get Noah a really cool blow up 747 Jumbo Jet.

Saturday afternoon was taken up with cleaning (booooo) and by the time we had finished, we decided just to stay at home and played with Noah’s toys (including the new digger…).

Meg’s been at church pretty much all day today, doing her hospitality bit so Noah’s been a lucky boy to spend all day with Daddy (ha ha). We started off this morning taking a trip to the ducks on our way to Jules, where we would spend lunchtime whilst the open home took place. We decided to go to her place via some real life diggers (that Dad has found on his morning running sessions) and unfortunately on the way Noah got stung by a bee!!! Daddy reacted pretty quickly scratching the sting out (something I had only learnt this week??), and then attempting to suck the venom out (probably not the best thing to do when your allergic to the stuff!). But Noah handled it very well, only crying for a couple of minutes and then proclaiming to Daddy that his hand was “ow”? Bless him….Luckily, the sting didn’t swell too much and some homeopathic medicine from Baba (Jules) settled him down nicely.


The day was topped off with a trip to the park to where Noah ‘zoomed’ down the slide on his tummy over and over again. Poor little man has been suffering with a bit of a dodgy tummy this weekend (we think some new teeth are making an appearance – yippee), so the trip was stopped short when Noah “Sharted” (pip popped and followed through at the same time)…nice!! Without a change of nappy on hand, we had to high tail it picking a few wild blackberries on the way and eating them.



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