December 2001 - February 2002

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Christmas and the New Year

We had a wonderful time at Christmas - we had two Christmas Days this year, Brent's extended family celebrated the event on the Sunday before Christmas Day (so everyone could take off earlier on holiday). We stayed on in Auckland and celebrated Christmas Day with just the Bowmaker family - which made for a very relaxing day!

Lydia was still a bit young to appreciate the meaning of Christmas, and showed no interest in all her wrapped presents... once they were unwrapped of course, the wrapping paper became her favourite toy!!!

Lydia got into the Christmas spirit!

Lydia did decide to make the day one to remember in another way, by taking her very first unsupported steps - yes, she started walking at just 9.5 months old!

We decided to hang around in Auckland the following day to take advantage of all the Boxing Day sales that were on - stocking up on some new Pumpkin Patch clothes and toys for Lydia, etc.

On the 27th December we took the ferry over to Great Barrier Island, where we met up with Glyn and Noleine and got aboard their boat Auric for a wonderful 5-day boating holiday.

Lydia was great on the boat this time, happily sleeping in her special bunk and practising her new walking skills (she could only do about 5 or 6 steps at this stage) as best she could on the rocking boat! We had a great time relaxing and fishing and Brent managed to have a few dives with his cousin John who was also boating nearby with his family on their boat Aozora.

Out in the dingy with Nana and Grandad!
A week up at the Batch

On 3 February 2002 we drove up to the family's batch on Whangaumu beach for a lovely week-long holiday. We met up with our friends Ken and Lissa, and their kids, who stayed with us for the first few days. Lydia found it a little disconcerting being "played with" by the older children, but she soon got used to it and seemed to enjoy their company!

While Lydia has been to a beach before, she hadn't played in (or eaten!) sand before. As you can see from this photo she really enjoyed playing in the sand!

Lydia also enjoyed chasing the seagulls and being taken into the surf by her daddy for a few little swims!

Around the home

Brent continued to work on the new boardwalk since our last webpage update, and he soon completed the next stage: an extension to the small deck outside the garage (at the beginning of the boardwalk) and a new stairway from this deck which connects to the upper deck and house. It was a technical work of art, and the final result looks fabulous and highly professional!

In the right photo the old small deck is in the foreground and the new deck is under Lydia's feet - the boardwalk leads off from the right side of the photo. Note the short cut-off post to the left of the photo - you can see this (somewhat covered in weeds!) in the lower centre of the left photo.

The area was certainly a mess beforehand!

Lydia tries out Daddy's new steps

Shortly after this we had what seemed like a month of wet weekends, followed by the Christmas and New Years holidays away, so little more has been accomplished. We have done a lot of clearing of the pathway area ahead including the transplanting of all the small natives that will be "in the way", so we're all ready to go!

Lydia's progress over the past few months

From her initial steps on Christmas Day, Lydia kept practising on her own, trying to walk further and further a bit at a time between the couches in our living room. You could then see her pause before "landing" on the furniture to practice standing unsupported. Two weeks after her first steps she was walking 3 metres on her own between furniture, and a few days later she took off walking into open spaces!

Lydia is now walking all over the house and seems to almost break into a run when we play our chasing games! Now that she's walking she is a very happy girl and she is able to keep herself amused for much longer periods, which is great. She has almost given up crawling completely!

Unfortunately, now that she's walking, she can also get herself into danger a lot quicker! She sustained her first injury while we were up at the batch - burning the palm and fingertips of her right hand on the glass of the oven door (which had recently been on). It gave us all a great fright, but fortunately they turned out to be "superficial burns", which means that there will be no scars or other permanent damage. Thank goodness!

Lydia's mysterious vomiting problem that she was experiencing towards the end of last year was investigated by a paediatrician back in December. He explained that is was to do with an immature valve at the top of her stomach - a problem that would correct itself in the next several months. We made a few small alterations to her diet and this, together with her rapidly increasing mobility, saw the vomiting episodes reduce progressively in frequency and quantity. Her valve appears to be maturing all the time so that the problem has now already virtually disappeared. We are very glad to have this episode behind us!


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