April - June 2002

Lydia's first trip to the Zoo!

Lydia's favourite animal is the duck ("guack-guack!"), but she has shown a huge interest in all animals and we decided it was time to take her to the zoo for the first time at the end of April.
[Lydia's Aunty Donna gave us a zoo pass so we can go as often as we want!]

We hadn't been there for many many years so it was quite an experience for all of us! The zoo has really improved over the years, and certain new attractions such as the sealions underwater viewing station and the safari animals boardwalk were really well done.

Lydia was really taken by it all and wanted to walk everywhere (the opposite direction to where we were going!) and often stopped to do a little dance for us (!), so she konked out pretty soon! Now that she's down to one sleep a day, we'll be able to take her for longer! We're planning another trip there in the next few weeks.

He's looking at me mummy...

Rrrr! I'm a lion too!

I'm as tall as the giraffes now!

Our backyard boardwalk project

The boardwalk has certainly progressed quite considerably since our last update - the next most complex part of the project (after building the stairs connecting the old upper deck to the lower newly extended deck at the beginning of the boardwalk) was the first turn deck, which was to be situated on quite a steep slope (which sloped in two different directions) at the end corner of our section (which backs onto council bushland).

Brent had to take quite some time, working out the angles and measurements, so that we ended up with the turn deck situated right on our boundary (to reduce the slope of the boardwalk as much as possible), with single steps in the boardwalk both approaching and leaving the turn deck at regular intervals (so I can tackle it easily with the stroller), while keeping the whole boardwalk as close to the ground as possible!

After many stakes had been driven in at various points and a multitude of strings had been strung between them all to confirm where each level was etc, Brent was finally really to proceed! From there I transplanted the small shrubs that were "in the way" while Brent dug the postholes. Once the posts were all in, it was pretty quick getting the beams and planks down. Finally there was the handrails to install, which Brent built back at the house angled to match the slope of the boardwalk, then carried them down and bolted them to the boardwalk, section by section. While Brent was doing that, I was clearing away a lot of the bush debris that had accumulated over the years, and generally tidying the surrounding area. We're pretty thilled with the result (wow - is there no end to Brent's talents?!) and we can now walk right through to that back end of the garden and admire our bushy backyard with all the native trees etc.

We still have a fair way to go before the entire boardwalk is finished, but the good news is that the two hardest parts are over - but we'll have to wait till spring to make any further progress!

It's boardwalk spaghetti!
Brent measures and marks it all up before starting (view taken from end corner of boardwalk - top left in far right photo)

Halfway there with the posts and beams!

Next section almost complete - what a transformation!

Our second Wedding Anniversary!

Wow, has it really been two years? We decided to really celebrate it this year in style, as last year Lydia was only about 6 weeks old, and I couldn't bring myself to leave her for more than a couple of hours!!!

This year we left Lydia with her Nanna and Grandad for the night (the Saturday before our actual Anniversary). We booked ourselves into the Ascott Metropolis hotel in the city centre (shown on right), and checked in in the early afternoon - a very impressive hotel both inside and out! After getting settled we went for a nice leisurely stroll around the surrounding area - which had completely changed since I was last there!!! We felt like tourists in our own city - really appreciating how visiting tourists would see Auckland - it's looking really good! That night we dined in a really flash restaurant inside the hotel - we had a fabulous meal and a wonderful time.

We really slept in the next morning (!) before having a great cooked breakfast and eventually picking Lydia up (who didn't seem to have missed us at all - she was having a great time!). It had only been a day, but for us it felt like a long weekend!

As a bonus, the following Monday night (which was actually our Anniversary) we went to the movies (to see Gosford Park) at the revamped Bridgeway Theatre, while Lydia's Grandma and Grandpa gave her her bath and put her to bed. Another lovely evening!

Lydia's latest achiements

Lydia is such a delight to us - getting more and more entertaining all the time! Her first words have really come on over the past few months. She said "Mum-Mum" and "Dada" and "Up" (for us to pick her up) quite some time ago, then came duck ("duh") and quack-quack (guack-guack) (still her most spoken two words!). Other names are increasing daily, but they're all abbreviations, like dog is "og", Barney is "Bar", sheep is "baba", balloon and butterfly are both "ba", and she now says "car" pretty well. She hasn't worked out yet that she can use speech to get what she wants, but we're sure she'll pick that up before too long!

I now have 4 teeth!

She loves to entertain us with her little dance routines (anywhere, anytime!), often in the wierdest places such as in the middle of a shopping mall! Her favourite games are being buried by cushions on our couch, and running behind curtains and playing peekaboo. She also loves playing on her little slide.

Lydia's sleeping routine has now changed - she's down to just one sleep a day. I was really reluctant to give up the second sleep - but it was clearly time for her! It had been getting really hard making her run around enough so she'd be tired enough to go for another sleep etc beforehand, so it's great not having to worry about that anymore!

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