31 August 2008

What's That?


We have a new question from our 'darling' 2 year old boy....What's that? A question we have come to hear two to three hundred times this week (and you think i'm exaggerating...think again...!!). In all fairness, we find it pretty cute, although it can get testing when asked over and over about the same thing.

A busy week for us, I for one was knee deep in reports and Meg was working/studying/being a mum/saying good bye to her team (who have all left M-co) and helping the auditors. In the meantime Noah just chilled out at daycare (probably busy enough for a two year old mind you).

On Friday I witnessed one of the most beautiful things yet in being a father. Meg stayed late after work to have a few drinks with her team, so it was a daddy pick up night. I arrived at daycare and couldn't see Noah anywhere. I have gotten used to a little boy running towards me (once he spots me), however tonight there was no little boy but instead a ferocious LION....I think the photos sum up perfectly what I saw and I couldn't stop smiling about him dressed up all weekend.


A fairly action packed weekend was had by all, starting with the usual Saturday morning jaunt to the supermarket and to see the planes. It was blowing a southerly, so after a couple of minutes of watching the planes, we decided to go and look at the waves crashing on Lyall Bay. Again, it was pretty cold but the waves had a fair smattering of 'die hard' surfers. Meg managed to catch up with some of her good friends on Saturday lunchtime at Astoria in town. Noah and I played outside in the sun (yes sun!!!) for a while and then had 'peggy toast' for lunch (Noah talk for soft boiled egg and soldiers).


When mum got home and Noah had woken up from his sleep, we went back to Karori Pool for our second swim in two weeks!! This time there was no nervous little boy taking to the water, but a very confident one and after an hour he was coaxed out of the pool with the promise of some ice cream after dinner. It was fantasic to see him loving the water so much and I think we realise that we must keep the pool trips up to make sure he continues his love for swimming (although probably not every week).


I managed a cheeky ride to the Wind Turbine and Hawkins Hill on my mountain bike this morning and then we all went to church as a family. My church experience is usually 10-15 minutes of singing with mummy, then I take Noah to creche. I haven't managed to leave him there yet so I can rejoin Meg, so I find myself looking after 3, 4 or more kids (and Noah) at creche. After an hour or so of reading books, playing with wooden trains etc etc we rejoin mummy for some more songs and then head off home.

With no plans on Sunday afternoon we played in the garden (getting rid of the water in the sand pit - well it was playing for Noah!!) and washed the outdoor windows. This hadn't been done for probably 5 months and was much needed - lets just hope we don't get a week of poor weather and we get to enjoy our clean windows for at least the next week!! To top it all off me and Noah decided a trip to the park was in order. The park was empty (much to our delight and strange seeing how good the weather was) and we had heaps of fun. I took a small ball with a tail on it (a bit like a comet?) and we chased each other with it. Noah was running around like a 'mad man' shouting - MY BALL, MY BALL whilst I tried to get it from him.


This weekend, Noah also had a great hand in helping Daddy cook cornish (although apparently we can't call them that unless they're made in Cornwall) pasties on Saturday night, and fajitas on Sunday night.

Well on to another week, no doubt it will be equally as busy and challenging in different ways for us all!

24 August 2008

Outings Galore

This week we have actually managed some dry nights to enjoy walking home without getting wet, and we were even blessed with our first fine and warm Saturday for hmmm it must be eight weeks!

The awesome view of the snow-capped Tararua Ranges on our walk home almost makes up for all the terrible weather we've had!

Mark had a wee mishap with the front bumper a week or so back, so we now have a fully functioning car again after having a new bumper fitted in the week (yay for insurance!), and we felt a bit more free to travel around this weekend without the worry of not having any front indicators as we had last weekend. The night we drove the car back home from town we got home a little earlier than usual so we had a bit of fun throwing some balls around in the driveway making the most of the last of the light and a fine evening to boot!

Noah has been really enjoying The Wiggles of late (aka 4 cheesy Australian blokes doing kids songs complete with Dorothy the dinosaur, Waggs the dog and Noah's favourite Captain Feathersword the pirate). I have been trying to rent a different Wiggles DVD out from the library most weeks, and he really enjoys dancing to all the music when we put it on after dinner every night for half an hour before bathtime. This week we have 'Pop Goes the Wiggles' which is all the old-school nursery rhymes, and he particularly loves doing the actions to 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush', and 'Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around'.

Lots of singing and dancing going on at home these days......

The last few weeks have been a bit tough for me as we are going through a company restructure which means that 6 positions, 3 of which are my immediate team mates including my manager are being made redundant. This means quite a few new tasks and responsibilities are now going to be included in my role. Whilst I am trying to see it in a positive light and as a chance to grow and expand my role, the timing is not that great as I am not finishing my Chartered Accounting studies till the end of October and all my team are finishing work on Friday. I also had a great team and we had all worked together for over 3.5 years so I will be very sad to see them leave. It will be very different going forward being a team of just me, my part-time student and a part-time administration resource who is only going to be a temporary contractor for the next few months. I do believe that God has it all in control though, so will just have to remember to take each day as it comes over the next wee while!

Anyway, enough about work. This weekend we enjoyed some lovely outdoors time in the warm sunshine. After the weekly supermarket visit with the obligatory detour to watch some planes take off on the way home, Noah and I ran around home having a fun game of Follow the Leader (me following him), jumping up and down our patio steps, zig zagging through the olive trees, and falling over onto our pebbled area. Saturday afternoon we took a long overdue trip to Karori Pool. We worked out we hadn't been for six months, so we were expecting Noah to be a bit apprehensive, but he was remarkably good (i.e. no tears!), and didn't need too much coaxing to get into the swing of it. More to the point he had to be coaxed out at the end, it was only with the bribe of a banana that we managed to get him out of the pool!

Noah emulates the planes taking off with great gusto.....
Sunday morning we went to the zoo and met up with a few friends and parents from daycare. It was a bit of a miserable day, raining fairly steadily but with our season passes it didn't seem like a waste to take in a quick circuit of most of the animals. We were fortunate to see the kiwis (as much as you can in the near pitch-black darkness) as we hadn't seen them the other times we have been. We also got to see the chimpanzees up close enough to touch through the glass, and there is one tiny baby chimp who is just far too cute for words!

This afternoon there was just enough time for a quick sleep for Noah and out to visit some friends in the Hutt Vally for afternoon tea. The rain has showed no signs of abating all day so we did very well to get outside as much as we did yesterday.

Mark and I have continued to enjoy the Olympics (in between study for me) this week. GB has been doing awfully well - 4th in the medal table. NZ has had a quieter week this week, but to see Bevan Docherty so extraordinarily happy after a bronze in the Triathlon was so refreshing. Usually the athletes who get the minor medals look very disapointed, much as if they are the poor relations, but you would have thought Bevan had won the gold the amount that he celebrated. Add to that, the fantastic result of Nick Willis getting a bronze in the 1500m up against the entire might of the African continent, has made it a week to remember for us Kiwis. His lap of honour around the stadium must have been a record for the slowest ever, as he thanked every Kiwi he could find in the crowd, so excited and elated was he.

In other news, we are hoping that Grandma will be able to come home this week so hopefully next time you read this Grandma, it'll be from the comfort of home! We all continue to send our love and prayers to you each day!

17 August 2008

Thunder, lightning and marble sized hail stones!!

Pretty uneventful week with more late nights than we can both remember and not due to illness!! Yes the Olympics has really taken hold of us and we have been glued (well I have been glued - Meg has been studying/glued) to the TV since the games started. Got to say it, those Chinese know how to put it on for the world...but is it really worth spending all that cash??

As for the title of this blog....we have witnessed 3 thunder storms this week, with one yielding marble sized hail....just glad we weren't out in it but we did collect a few bits for posterity and put them in the freezer so we can prove they were actually that big!

Noah has had his first full week at daycare for goodness knows how long and we are really hoping that he will continue to fight off colds and bugs for a bit longer. We've noticed since our trip to the Zoo last weekend that he's been really active this week with heaps of singing, dancing and running around the house at a rate of knots!! This is great to watch (as parents) as we are keen to encourage him to enjoy being active whether it's sports, dancing or general play.

Meg had her penultimate workshop for her PAS certification on Friday and Saturday, so Saturday morning was a chance for Noah and Daddy to spend some time together. Meg's workshop went OK overall and I think we are all starting to feel the end is in sight....

As for Daddy and Noah, very much a normal Saturday morning and a trip to the supermarket, a visit to the Warehouse (to buy nothing??) and then Animates (a pet shop where we got Murphy) to waste half an hour spying on all kinds of animals from Lizards, Turtles and Fish to Rabbits, Birds and Dogs...Noah loved them all (although we steered clear of the bigger dogs!!!).

After a sleep, we picked Mum up from her workshop and went home for an afternoon in the garden (shock horror...nice weather in Welly!!!). We did a bit of clearing up and gardening, while Noah (kind of) helped. We also played with a ball in the driveway and learnt (or tried to learn) about not going on the road.....don't worry, we'll keep drumming it into him.


Sunday was very relaxed....a bike ride for daddy in the morning, mum did a bit of cleaning (again she had a little helper..!!) and then a trip to a garden centre to get a base for a new pot Meg bought a couple of weeks ago. Whilst I was out on my bike, Meg and Noah played the whole time (so about an hour) in the garden, we had nearly forgotten what it feels like to be able to do that! The weather today even beat yesterday and playtime was followed by a coffee sitting in the sun (we can almost feel spring on it's way....or at least we are hoping). During our trip to the garden centre, we decided to stop off at the beach (in the rain - yes the weather took a bit of a turn late this afternoon) to go and see if we could find anything in the rock pools? Noah was fasciniated although a big wave that came crashing in scared us both witless and I felt like a mother koala with her baby clutched to her body walking away from the rock pools!!

Well sorry to cut it short there...The Olymics is hotting up, 3 more golds for Team GB today (Sunday) and I feel more to come.

(Meg interjects: Hey let's not forget NZ's 5 medals yesterday and our most successful medal haul in one day in the Olympics ever!) Special big ups to Mahe, the twins and Valerie!

A quick note to end on for Grandma..keep up the positive attitude and you'll be back fighting hard soon (gosh, I make you sound like a boxer....ha ha!!) We all send you heaps of love and hugs....

10 August 2008

Finding fun on cold, cold winter days

We are beginning to wonder if winter will ever end, as we had yet another horrible storm blow through this weekend, I think that makes about 4 weekends in a row we have had simply awful weather. We're sure yesterday was the coldest day so far, I don't think it reached more than 6 degrees in Wellington all day.

The weather hasn't stopped us from having a fun-filled week though, what with Noah's birthday party at daycare on Tuesday, and the weekend started off with a lovely surprise visit from Allie. What amazed us though was that Noah jumped straight on her lap asking her to read his book of the moment 'All Afloat on Noah's Boat', and he seemed so at home with her that we can't help but wonder if she reminded him of Baba (they are sisters after all, and there is definitely some family resemblances there - hopefully we don't offend either by saying that!)

Then Tracey & Dayne & kids came for a late lunch and we spent a fun afternoon indoors. It was great to catch up as we hadn't seen them since February, come to think of it last time they came to visit it was raining too so we haven't exactly been able to put on the weather for them! Nevertheless we had great fun adding two more trains to Noah's collection (Stepney & Henry - thanks to the Eastes), and it was good fun seeing all 4 trains zooming/chugging at various speeds around the track.

Later in the afternoon we somehow ended up rolling around the lounge having a family tickle competition, which had us all breathless with laughter. Nothing like making your own fun on a cold and rainy day I say!


This morning dawned bright and clear, although I nearly had to pinch myself to believe it lookng out the window this morning. Mark shot out for a quick ride to Makara whilst Mummy & Noah danced the time away to 'If You're Happy and You Know It and 'Ring a Ring o Roses'. When Daddy returned we headed off to church together, and this afternoon we took advantage of the glorious (albeit rather chilly) day to put our annual zoo passes to use. It was the first visit for Mark, and Noah (the old hat) was able to tell Daddy which animals were coming up next. It was particularly interesting to see the zebras really galloping around their enclosure, kicking their heels up and generally galivanting around. It was as if they were so excited to finally have a fine day that they couldn't help but let off some excited energy. This is probably going to sound a little silly but we couldn't help but think that all the animals looked so very relieved that it wasn't raining, and every animal we saw had found a spot in the sun and was making the most of the day. Even the little red pandas had managed to climb up high in the trees to find some sunshine.


Then it was home and time for Daddy to try out Uncle James' toad-in-the-hole foolproof batter recipe. Mark has been most disappointed at all the various recipes for it he has tried so far, and had started blaming our oven for the very mediocre results it had produced. However, this time it was smiles all round and Noah/Daddy's joint effort at making the batter recipe proved a winner!

Noah was very cute this afternoon, and was absolutely full of beans (more so than usual!) when we got home from the zoo. There's a page in the new Noah's Ark book where 'the frogs were doing hyper-hops, jumping all over the table tops'. Well Noah decided to do some hyper-hopping (or 'happy-hopping' as he called it) all over the lounge/kitchen for about ten minutes, I was tired just watching him!

At dinner time today, Daddy reinacted the chimpanzees we saw today for Noah, and had him in absolute fits of giggles, I don't know which was more amusing, seeing Mark make an absolute idiot of himself or seeing Noah laugh so hard he could hardly breathe! Unfortunately we only got this videoed on the second take, Noah was laughing a lot harder the first time round. Mark will probably kill me for putting this on here...oh well..whilst I've got the computer, I've got the control!

But the absolute best news this week is hearing all the good reports from England of Grandma's recovery progress. Keep up the good work Grandma, we're with you all the way!

04 August 2008

Someone's turning 2, or should that be 3?

We have just had a lovely long weekend with Nana & Poppa here to celebrate Noah's 2nd birthday, and I have not long ago dropped Nana off at the airport to end what has been a lovely weekend.

You may have wondered at the lack of a blog last week, well there was good reason for this as in our slight madness decided that we had just enough time to paint the lounge and dining room before Nana and Poppa arrived on Friday morning - this made for a completely crazy and hectic week as we raced around like mad people getting all the prep work done in the evenings, Mark painted for about 12 hours straight on his day off on Wednesday with me helping for 4 hours in the evening, and we just managed to pull all the masking tape down minutes before I left to go to the airport to pick them up! It was all worth it because it looks so amazing, and we now can't believe we waited this long to do it. We will take some photos when a) we get a nice day and b) the rooms are bit tidier to show it off in its full glory - which could be a while given the weather and the current state they're in!

The pirate ship was an instant hit with Noah, he very quickly figured out how the cannonball worked!

We mostly spent the weekend indoors as it was yet another wet weekend, although Poppa took Noah up to the park both days for some fresh air, and we had an excursion to the shops and Cafe California for brunch on Noah's birthday. Otherwise we just had fun playing with Noah's new pirate ship (from Nana & Poppa) and the famous Thomas train set (that we had been waiting to give Noah for about a year!). It was great because Grandma in England had sent over another train (Donald) to go with the set, and we had great fun watching the trains both go around the track. We have decided that Thomas is a bit of a bully though as he is much quicker than Donald and seems to delight in catching him up and shunting him to the point where he gets pushed right off the track. Donald also has an open carriage so we have enjoyed putting various farm animals in it to go for a ride.

We had a cake (cooked by Mummy - shock horror I know I bet you didn't think I was capable! and iced by Daddy) and chippies for afternoon tea on Saturday and Noah was very quick to blow out the candles before we had even finished the song so we had to sing it twice just so we could get it on camera!

Noah's Happy Happy Birthday

The funniest moment of the weekend is that Noah, bless him, has got it into his head that he is now three and not two. This is how the conversation goes 'And how old are you Noah?' "Three" 'Really? I think you're two' "I'm three!" 'Two' "I'm three!" 'Noah you'll be three next year, but for now you're two' "I'm THREEE!" And so it goes on, usually until we have to say 'OK I give up, you can be three'. Last week when we asked him how old he was, he would say "I'm one", but he seems to have decided to skip being two altogether. What a funny boy!

Noah receives birthday wishes from Grandma & Grandad via webcam and phone, and enjoys watching their gift Donald chug around the room

The seasoned fluffy connoisseur

Poppa had to go back to Hamilton Sunday lunchtime so he could prepare for his busy Monday on the milk run, but we were lucky to have Nana stay on till Monday night, so she got the chance to have a whole day just her and Noah today, and by all accounts they had great fun. The same can't be said for Poppa's bag which got lost on the way back to Hamilton and this made for a much more challenging afternoon than he was planning on given his car keys were in the said bag! Anyhow all's well that ends well with that story as I believe that the bag has been found and he'll pick it up tonight when he collects Nana from the airport.

Noah has all manner of fun playing with the new train set and makes sure he sits as close to the Burger rings as possible!

Well that's about it as far as the birthday celebrations go, but lastly, we have a very special message to send to Grandma in England from us all: Hey Grandma we send you all the love, hugs and kisses in the world, and wish you better really soon! We are thinking of you always! All our love, Meg, Mark & Noah.

p.s. Noah also says 'Grandma, do you remember the lovely hour we spent in your garden the day we flew home to New Zealand, you and I had such fun feeding the birdies bananas and watching them play in the bird bath, I still tell Mummy & Daddy about it even now. All my love, Noah xxx


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