Sunday, August 20, 2006

Baby Clothes

I really loved all the clothes we got for Matthew in England - especially this little set from Gap, courtesy of Rachel!
Also bought this top from Next - no need really because he's got so many clothes but I couldn't resist ("Probably the best baby in the world" - completely biased)! There are two pictures because if you get a photo of Matthew smiling he's generally so excited that his arms are all over the place so you can't see the rest of the picture.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Neil and John reunited

Getting some culture in London - Matthew was very attentive in the National Gallery but we realised it was because he was concentrating on filling (and spilling out of) his nappy; hooray for good baby change facilities!

The Shepherd grandparents with their grandchildren

Matthew with his seven month old cousin, Emma

Grandad Simms and his 'best boy'

Monday, August 14, 2006

Jet lag

Having incredible difficulty loading pictures of our trip but hoping there will be breakthrough soon - a bit like the breakthrough we had with jet lag actually. Matthew slept really well on the plane and was still sleeping Thursday afternoon so we thought we'd wake him up and keep him awake until the evening. No chance. He slept 'til 10pm (we'd gone to bed @ 7pm) and then was awake ALL night until 10.30 the next morning! I then tried to wake him up throughout the afternoon, again with no success, and beginning to wonder how the total reversal of night & day would ever occur if was going to continue to sleep through the day (and consequently was there any point in us trying to get our body clock sorted when he pretty much dictates it anyway?). Well Matthew did wake up at 7pm which was great because it meant Emma & Dan could catch up with him and then we thought we'd do the usual bath, bottle, bed routine at 11pm and see if we could fool him to sleep. And it worked! Gradually since then he's been moving back to 'normal' and last night he slept right the way through! Praise the Lord!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Home Sweet Home

We've now returned from our time in the UK and it's quite amazing how quickly five weeks can go. We had a fantastic time and it was so great to catch up with everyone we got to see; there's never enough time, I guess, but it did feel that there was real quality time with many family and friends. Nearly everywhere we went it felt like we'd only been away a couple of months which was quite bizarre (the greatest change was seeing the children of friends because they give the biggest reality check that we've been away two years - Sam Hewson was only the age Matthew is now when we left and now he's a proper boy!) but great because it felt we could carry on where we left off.
Matthew was adored and seemed to take the travelling in his stride; it did take a few days to adjust to the differences in time, temperature (minus 9 in Rangiora when we left to the heatwave of the UK!), food, bed etc but enjoyed all the attention and cuddles. He was very spoiled with gifts of clothes & toys too (so many that we had to post them back!). And he's changed so much - he's now smiling and chatting away and generally interacts much more with what's going on around him. The highlight was of course watching Matthew with his grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousin (our neice who we met for the first time too and who was dedicated while we were there) - very precious times.
Other highlights (not nearly as significant or memorable) included shopping at Tesco (Finest triple chocolate cookies), driving on motorways (you just get to drive faster than in NZ), listening to quality radio, eating great indian food, Neil finding trousers he liked and going to the National Gallery on our trip to London (actually, just being in London) and the hills & moors in Derbyshire .
Going back to the UK felt like going 'home' but coming back to Christchurch did too - especially returning to mountains and a home with a roaring log burner (stoked by Andrew) and homemade soup for lunch (from Christine).