Thursday, October 19, 2006

Teeth and food

Matthew seems to have shifted into another gear development-wise over the last week - maybe it was having older babies around him. But aside from being more interested in his toys and books, enjoying different textures and pushing off with his feet so he propels himself on his back across the floor, cot and his changing mat (the latter being rather scary from my point of view) and growing lots more hair he also now has his first tooth and has had his first taste of baby rice. Understandably, he thought it a rather odd sensation to start with but certainly didn't refuse it and even cried out for more. So the joy of peeling & pureeing has begun - what fun!

Here's a photo of the 9 of us which was being stubborn and wouldn't publish on the last posting!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Family & Friends

We're just recovering (that makes it sound like we've been through an ordeal - we haven't at all, it's just we're shattered!) from a 10 day visit by family and friends. Neil's brother Alastair, his wife Helen and daughter Emma arrived on the Wednesday and then their friends, Benji, Nicole and Jake, arrived from Adelaide on the Friday.
It started off pretty gently with a chilled couple of days; Matthew had his first experience in a swing, Helen and I ventured into Christchurch on the bus (more like a coach so the buggies had to be stowed underneath and apparantly the timetable is an estimate and they're "long gone" by the time quoted - very helpful - good job the bus driver knew us and waited as we ran down the street!) and had a picnic in the botanical gardens and Neil and Alastair had a ball skiing @ Mount Hutt.

Then the real fun began. 'Carnage' was the word most frequently used over the last week to describe our home with the presence of 6 adults and 3 babies. Great fun and lots of laughs; from food across children's faces/clothes/floor, an abundance of smelly nappies, to a pancake 'bake off' with different types of beer batter, mini golf and competition verging on the ridiculous (Neil and I being the main culprits) over the game of 'Cranium'. There was also the lovely Hanmer Springs with it's stunning mountains, hot pools and mini golf and Akaroa with the best fudge I've ever tasted. Everyone agreed that holidays are very different with children - it took us hours to get out the house and any plan we made rarely got seen to completion; if two of the children were ready the other would need a sleep, nappy change or feeding and then there's their parents too...
Anyway, it was "all good" and the house was strangely quiet when they left (though Benji, Nicole & Jake did return for a night at the end of their NZ jaunt so that let us down gently - and must have meant the whole experience can't have been too bad if they came back for more!).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Going Bush

Well Neil has had a very adventurous and energetic couple of weeks. He left early on a Monday morning with our very Kiwi friend, Ed, heading to a true Kiwi experience shooting, fishing and tramping. They had a three hour drive across 4WD only 'road' to get to the middle of nowhere (actually Lake Sumner) where they then had to finish the journey by boat across the lake to their accomodation. This consisted of a boatshed which had the facility for lighting & cooking but no toilet! I ask you - I mean I love my food and being able to see at night is important but not having to use a shovel is definitely higher on my list of priorities. The weather was absolutely shocking (the second excellent reason why Matthew and I stayed home) but they had great time and the fishing was far more successful than the shooting - I'm looking forward to tasting the trout.

The night before Neil went away, Matthew was up several times so I think Neil left slightly anxious that he'd come back to completely wrecked wife. However Matthew seemed to get whatever it was out of his system and we had a great couple of days, including flitting around getting organised for the arrival of family (more of that in the next installment), a reassuring first trip to the doctors for Matthew (he had quite a disturbing rattle on his chest which he was totally not bothered about, it was just his parents he thought it didn't sound quite right. Needless to say he's fine and it's cleared up now) and an awesome time with our youth at their small group. The strangest thing was not being able to share it with Neil at the time; he was out of mobile phone range and it was interesting to realise how much we're used to at least being in touch by text.