October - Early December 2002

Merry Christmas everyone! Well, it has been a very busy and eventful few months since our last update - so much has happened and so much has been achieved! We're looking forward to our holiday up at the batch next month, for a little R&R to recouperate!

Lydia's going to have a little sister!!

Our 18-week scan and amniocenthesis revealed a healthy little baby girl kicking around inside me which was really great news! Its great knowing what we are having - we've found that it is already affecting what we buy for Lydia etc, knowing that there'll be another girl along two years behind her to use those same things. We'll be particularly lucky with the clothes as the almost exactly two-year gap means the seasons will all be the same at the same age! Never having had a sister, I think Lydia is a very lucky girl!

The only problem we've had has been choosing her name, but we've made some progress there - her first name is pretty much decided, the second name is to be reviewed. We'll keep the names a secret until the big day!

Our little princess gives us a smile!

Our holiday in Fiji

In the second half of October we treated ourselves to a fabulous 10 day holiday in Fiji - staying at the Outrigger Resort, a fairly new resort on the south-western coast of the main island. The weather was wonderful, only a couple of showers the whole time we were there, the rest of the time was sunny or overcast, temperatures in the high 20's/early 30's. The staff were really excellent, particularly the way they doted over Lydia, taking her away sometimes and keeping her amused so we could have our dinner in peace etc.

The Outrigger Resort - as seen from our room

The swimming pools were very well set up with a very large main pool which connected to a lagoon-like section at one end which was nice and shallow for children to play in, and quite well shaded with palm trees. Lydia just loved being in the pool, so Brent spent a lot of time in the pool with her! There was also a Kids Club, which Lydia was technically too young to join, but the staff let us turn up with her and play in the large sand pit, or play inside the club. One of the staff members even braided Lydia's hair with one braid - we couldn't believe how Lydia sat still the whole time he was doing it, she wouldn't let him do another one though!. We managed to get a few photos before she pulled it all out!

Having fun with Daddy in the pool

Lydia's first hair braid!

One morning we visited the local wildlife zoo (just across the road from the resort) and it was actually a very well set up miniature zoo, which focused on birds, lizards etc. We could get so close to all the animals - even touch some of them - Lydia really enjoyed it! Unfortunately Lydia still had a bad ear infection while we were there (we even had to drive into town and visit a local doctor, which was quite an experience!) so we didn't leave her alone much at night, but we did have a night alone towards the end of our stay, and went out and dined in style at one of the Resort's fine restaurants. We were sad to leave as we had a thoroughly wonderful time!

A flash new bedroom for Lydia!

Back home, we finally managed to complete Lydia's new bedroom - it's been quite some time and work getting to this point! I did a fair bit of painting etc myself and am thrilled with how it has all come together. Lydia loves it and spends a lot of time playing in there - the big test will be in a few weeks when Lydia is moved up there to sleep, but we're optimistic that the transition will go fairly smoothly!

We imported the duvet cover, cushions and lampshade from a store in Sydney called "BabysArk". The design is called "Quite Contrary" and is a Designers Guild (an English brand) print. The fabric for the squabs on the windowseat was also purchased while we were in Sydney (as it was temporarily unavailable in New Zealand).

Brent built the gorgeous rimu bedhead himself (shown top-left). The bed is my old childhood bed, with a new mattress. A builder made the long windowseat for us (the corner of which is shown top-left) to our specifications - we then got a painter in to paint it, and the orange feature walls. The beautiful toy chest was a very special first birthday present for Lydia from her Nana and Grandad, handpainted by an artist friend of the family to match the colours of her (at that time, proposed) room.

I painted the tissue box holder, the photo frame and the piggy bank on the dresser, the "Mary Mary Quite Contrary" picture on the wall, and the little decorated bucket on the floor beside the toy chest. I also made and painted the hanging butterflies and flowers mobile (hanging above the windowseat) and some felt flowers on the triangular feature wall (not pictured).

All in all a lot of time and effort went into this room, but we're thrilled with the final result, it looks very coordinated and quite stunning!

The boardwalk makes another big leap forward - and we're getting a new deck built!

The last few weekends have seen Brent working furiously down in our bushy backyard again on our boardwalk - only about 6 metres left to go now until the end of the main boardwalk, which will connect up to just before the existing council walkway. The council walkway leads just a short distance to the tennis clubs which also have a small playground which Lydia loves to play on. From there on its just a hop, skip and a jump to the Smith and Davies building, where Lydia's Nana and Grandad work. We can't wait to complete it!

The area beforehand!

Halfway there...

Next stage complete!

This section included a "Y" section where the boardwalk splits in two directions. The other direction will lead through the garden to stairs up to our new deck which is going to begin construction in mid-January 2003, and is expected to take a few weeks to complete.

This new deck will be huge - it will be built under our house (which is high up on poles on this north-west side) and will be a huge floor area (almost the full length of the house, and wider than the house at one end), to be used predominantly as a large undercover play area for Lydia and her sister (we plan to add a playgym and playhouse etc to the completed deck). It will stay mostly dry in wet weather, and in winter the sun will come a fair way in, much less so in summer. We hope the girls will get a lot of use out of this new play area - it will certainly tidy up the useless large dry dirt area that's there at the moment and connect the house a lot more to the rest of our section.
Welcome little Zack Thompson!

In other family news, we became an Aunty, Uncle and cousin for the second time on 1 November 2002 with the safe arrival of Zack Glyn Mark Thompson. Congratulations to Brent's sister Donna, and David and Katie, and good luck in the busy months ahead!.

A couple of weeks later Katie celebrated her second birthday with a party held at Lydia and Katie's creche. The kids all had a lot of fun there, getting their faces painted and playing with all the creche equipment before tucking into the party food. Katie and Lydia thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

Katie with little Zack

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