29 June 2008

Train Travel

Sitting indoors on what has to be the wildest weather day Wellington has seen all year, we are very thankful that we picked yesterday to get out and about. Tranz Metro were running a special this weekend, $5 per adult to go anywhere on the Wellington network, and given how mad keen Noah is on trains at the moment (even surpassing his love for planes!), we thought we'd take advantage of the deal to take the train up to the Kapiti coast for the afternoon. It was an especially good deal when you consider that with the price of petrol having risen so much, the equivalent car journey would have cost us $30 instead of $10.

Mummy & Noah enjoy an indoors day on Monday after the weekend's tummy bug, Noah makes sure I get my daily dozens by 'Mummy chase you' a.k.a. Mummy chase Noah all over the house on his bike!

We just managed to find a carpark in town and made a mad dash to catch the 1.30 pm train out of Wellington, having enticed Noah with the news of the train journey to wake up quickly from his nap so we could throw some clothes on him and jump in the car to get down there in time.

On the way we saw plenty to keep Noah interested, rivers, lagoons, boats, the sea, cows, sheep, other trains, and plenty of tunnels! Once we arrvied at Paraparaumu, we enjoyed a look around the local shopping centre, even managing to seek out the local Toyworld which can always be guaranteed to have a wooden Thomas railway set for Noah to play with. He goes into another world whilst he's playing with these train sets, and we could easily leave him in the shop for hours on end, and I don't think he would even realise we had gone (not that we would of course!)


Getting him away from the train set however, is quite another story, we bribed him with a bee-sting bun care of the Brumby's bakery next door, but even that was not enough to stop the flood of tears when we told him it was time to leave. We are now reassured that he will absolutely LOVE the Tomy Thomas the train set that we got him about a year ago and we plan to give it to him for his birthday which is only a few weeks away now.

Then we had just enough time for me to steal an hour for a coffee with my dear friend Linda who I worked with at M-co a few years back, and it was lovely to see her and to see how wee gorgeous Oliver had grown (now 15 months) since last time I had seen them both (too many months ago!) Then we were back on the 4.30pm train, enjoying some stunning views of Kapiti Island, the South Island and the sun setting on the way back to town.


You would never know it looking at the gorgeous sunset above, but a weather bomb has hit us overnight, with all today's ferry crossings so far cancelled, and at least 24 flights in and out of Wellington cancelled due to the severe southerly gales and rain that have been hammering the Capital since last night. At points last night I felt like clinging onto the bed for dear life as our room upstairs (which is essentially built out of the roof space) takes a fair battering in a southerly, and boy was it ferocious!

This morning we have been to church and will now have to find some indoors entertainment for the afternoon as the storm is showing no signs of letting up for the rest of the day. Having successfully passed my last workshop, I decided to give myself a few nights off this weekend and enjoyed watching both American Gangster & The Flying Scotsman with Mark, and also pottered around putting up some black & white photos that I have been keen to get up on the wall - photo below!

Noah is hopefully finally going to get his post-op checkup at the hospital tomorrow(after having to cancel
twice with the pox and then the bug last weekend), GeeGee arrives Thursday afternoon for a couple of nights, and then it's our antenatal group's 2nd birthday party next Sunday afternoon so some lovely things to look forward to for us all.

22 June 2008

A quiet weekend at home

Well we didn't make it to Lindale, which was a shame! Not only was the daycare kids' outing moved to Te Papa but Noah came down with a vomiting bug on Saturday afternoon so we couldn't have gone anyway. We had thought he was off-colour when we woke up from his nap and he retched a couple of times with no result. Later in the afternoon he had perked up enough for us to take a quick trip to the dump, partly to see if we could see any diggers for Noah as well as getting rid of some stuff. Anyway the windy roads proved too much for him, and as we were parked up at the dump, he projectile vomited from the back seat, luckily I saw it coming and we had fortuitously thought to bring a bucket which I had at the ready. He then seemed better after that, even eating some eggy toast, but then threw up again twice overnight and once more this morning when he got up. Since then he has come right thankfully, but Mark is off to Auckland for 2 days' work tomorrow morning, so I'll be looking after him as he can't go back to daycare till 48 hours after the last episode which will make it Tuesday morning.

We also had postponed his hospital check-up when he had chickenpox two weeks ago, and were meant to go tomorrow but guess we'll be postponing that again too! The bug has gone through daycare this week with quite a few kids affected, so it was probably inevitable that Noah came down with it too.

So we've had a very quiet weekend, Noah has pretty much spent most of the weekend in front of the TV sitting on his Bob the Builder couch watching Finding Nemo over and over, and I think he just about knows it back to front now! We also bought Ice Age and Garfield this afternoon for a bit of variety, but even so, Nemo is clearly still the favourite!

Otherwise, it has been a fairly uneventful week, Noah is continuing to learn and take in so many new things, he's very good at recognising his primary colours now (red, yellow, green and blue), has enjoyed drawing with his new art desk, and also has had fun spotting the full moon most nights on the way home , and bouncing out of bed to look for the lone star (which is probably a planet) we can often see out his bedroom window morning if the skies are clear.

Noah uses up all his 'lello' blocks to build a tower as tall as him, and then enjoys knocking it over again

Noah keeps his toes warm this weekend in Pukeko slippers, and enjoys drawing at his art desk

He's also started to sing to himself some of his favourite songs...which is too cute. We can often recognise the odd line from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Black Sheep. Then this weekend he was singing something that we just couldn't figure out, until I finally clicked this morning that it was 'Ting Tang Walla Walla' as in 'Oo Ee Oo Aa Aa, Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang' from The Witch Doctor song. We first started playing it to him through a version of the song we found on YouTube when he was about six months old after Grandad had sung it to him. More recently, we resurrected it and sung it while we were over in England with Grandma & Grandad, and how amazing that it has stuck in his little memory bank since then!

Well onto another week, and our one and only wish is that we might all stay healthy....!

15 June 2008

A New Lease of Life

We didn't manage a blog last week, it was a pretty busy week for us all. After thinking we may have escaped the latest chickenpox epidemic at daycare, we found 3 pretty suspect spots last Tuesday and sure enough it was the pox. So I took Wed/Thu off, and Mark took Friday off as I had to go to my next accounting workshop Fri/Sat.

Noah was the most amazing patient, he only got half a dozen bad spots and apart from being spotty you would never have known that he even had it as he was in such good spirits. We are just hoping he hasn't infected 2 of his little friends Riley and Piper who he saw on the 2 days leading up to the spots appearing. He was back to daycare on Monday, and it was a quiet week there with another 6 kids off with chickenpox. Having heard plenty of horror stories about what it can be like with children who are sick with the chickenpox, we are absolutely counting our blessings that we had such a mild case, and it is pretty great knowing that's that out of the way for Noah now!

Mummy and Noah enjoy an afternoon at the Wellington waterfront during Noah's chickenpox quarantine

My workshop went pretty well, two assessed team activities (one on auditing, one on tax) and after finding out I had passed the previous workshop, I was feeling a little more relaxed about the whole process knowing I was on the right track. Three down, three to go!

This week Noah and I enjoyed catching the cable car home two nights whilst Mark was busy with work events. Noah really enjoys going 'up the tunnels', knows 'the cable car is red' and each time it stops to let people on/off, he tells me he's 'ready to go again'.

This weekend we have enjoyed a) no sickness, and b) no workshop and had a very productive weekend, cleaning out some cupboards around the house and doing a mammoth tidy-up in the garden this afternoon. We were blessed with some beautifully mild weather this weekend, so it was a very pleasant couple of hours out in the garden. As always, we started off thinking we'd just do a 'spot' of tidying up and it ended with Mark having to take another trip to the rubbish dump since we had gotten so carried away! I managed to prune the roses (probably a month too early but at least it's done) whilst Mark attacked the vines down the side of the house, and with any luck it'll be more than six months before we need to go near it again instead of every couple of months like we have been.

Noah had a grand time helping us by 'pretend' cutting back vines and sweeping up alongside us. We took the lid off the sandpit which was swimming in a couple of inches of water, emptied out the water and Noah merrily sat in the wet sand making mud pies and generally finding it fascinating how the water just kept re-appearing in the bottom of the pit.

Noah shows off the cut he got helping in the garden, and bathtime is even more fun now we've got Blackbeard, Rodney and Jim to play with!

We've also been getting a little bit inspired for a bit of redecorating around the house, so have enjoyed collecting a few accessories over the last couple of weeks to jazz the place up a wee bit. We're hoping to repaint the lounge a more neutral colour in the next couple of months, and have plans to take up all the pebbles outside and turn them back into a nice grassed area for Noah this summer so plenty of ideas and plans to keep us inspired for the next little while anyway.

Some new bits and pieces around the house

Next weekend we're hoping to take Noah out to the Lindale Farm centre to meet up with some of the other kiddies from daycare and hopefully see lots of animals..so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for some decent weather!

01 June 2008


Well pretty much two weeks have passed since we got back from our big trip and it actually feels right to be back! In a strange way New Zealand is starting to feel more like home. We absolutely loved our time away, but since the last trip (2-3 years ago) I think we have settled into our lives just that bit more.

We put new batteries in these toys after months without, and quickly remembered that actually there was a very good reason for leaving them without batteries!!!

The first week back was very uneventful (hence the lack of blogging!!) and it was more of a time to get our body clocks back into sync and Meg’s study back in the groove. The weather was amazing, even if it was 6-7 degrees colder than what we left in the UK. Daycare welcomed a new Noah back with open arms sporting heaps more speech and confidence (although Daddy leaving him each morning still isn't going down too well).

Last weekend (24th and 25th May) the weather decided to turn and we were treated to a very nasty winter blast coming up from the South Island. So a nice couple of ‘indoor’ days at home entertaining friends (Andrew and Leonie and their 3 boys) on the Saturday and church on the Sunday was in order. It was great to catch up with Andrew and Leonie who we haven’t seen for nearly 2 years and their 3 boys, Jacob, Luca and Jaime. Noah absolutely loved having company and showing off all of his toys.

Noah discovers that nappies make a good leaning tower to practice diving on

The last week has been a busy one for all of the family. Noah’s day care thought he had “Hand, Foot and Mouth” disease again, but luckily he didn’t. Meg has been studying hard for her next workshop in one week’s time and I have been out three nights with Netball, the new Indy movie (average – but that’s just my opinion) and on Friday I had work drinks, which didn’t finish up until 1am!!

This weekend is a long one in New Zealand (Queens Birthday) and our last for a few months!! So far we’ve done a bit of shopping (including a trip to Toy World for Noah where he played with a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine set for half an hour and could not be persuaded to leave!) and had some friends over today for lunch and afternoon tea.

At Toy World we bought Noah a (Playmobil) Pirate as when he was with Grandma and Granddad he fell in love with all of Daddy’s and Uncle James’ old Playmobil Pirates!!! Actually it turned out to be the only way to get him to leave the train set! Daddy also bought himself a Nintendo Wii (Wow Wii…) but has been warned under no uncertain terms that bans will be put in place if housework is not completed!! For those of you who have no idea what a Wii is…well imagine playing video games and actually being part of it (i.e. if your playing Tennis, you swing your arm like a Tennis player to hit the ball).

Today was a little more relaxed with Mum at church (her last hospitality day for a wee while as she's taking a break until the study is over later this year at least). The usual Sunday morning stroll to the ducks for Daddy and Noah was topped off with his new favourite ‘thing’….the Wellington cable car. Because I had a couple of nights where I stayed late after work, Mummy and Noah treated themselves and took the cable car home those nights, much to Noah’s delight.

Mark, Noah and Riley enjoy bouncing on Willy the Whale

Becky and Jonny came over for a late lunch (pancakes, bacon, banana and maple syrup) and then Sarah, Paul and Riley joined us all for afternoon tea. Again, it was great seeing all of our friends what with Becky 6 months pregnant (and glowing), Sarah and Becky being old work mates and watching Noah play with Riley. It really is amazing how well his confidence has come on since his trip to England and it doesn’t feel like there is anything that is holding him back. It really was a watershed experience for him having to meet and mix with so many different people whilst we were away that it has boosted his confidence no end and is great for us to see.

Noah shows off his 'tin-soldier' hat

Meg has gone off to church this evening to finish up her hospitality duties which has given me the chance to earn some brownie points for, a) not playing on the Wii all night and, b) doing the blog without being asked…..


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