April - August 2003

The last few months have been pretty quiet, as we've been busy coping with our newest addition to the family, and adjusting to our lives as a family of four! Here's what we've been up to...

Emily - our little charmer!!

Emily (now 5.5 months old) is proving herself to be a delightful baby - offering huge beaming smiles to everyone she meets and squealing with delight at every opportunity. She also loves to "talk" (a lot!) and can chat away to us for quite some time - what we would give to know what she's thinking! She's quite the little charmer and stills draws many smiles and flattering comments from strangers whenever we are out and about - mainly they are surprised by her alertness and the way she interacts, particularly as she's still quite petite, so can look younger than she actually is.

Her weight gain has been slow but steady, while she's ahead of the pack on height, so she's a tall slim baby (much like her Daddy was, we think). She has been suffering a lot with reflux and colic, far worse than we experienced with her older sister... we're not surprised that her weight gain is so slow with the amount of milk that comes straight back up! She's been seeing a pediatrician who has been treating the colic very effectively and neutralising her stomach so the reflux doesn't cause her so much discomfort. We've now resorted to administering anti-reflux medicine as well, which we hope will do the trick!

Emily enjoying her bath
at 5 months old!

Lydia still adores her little sister - giving her lots of hugs and kisses and telling her that she's cute etc. From time to time she's been frustrated at having to share her toys and her parents' attention, but she gets over it pretty quickly and the episodes have been few and far between. Emily certainly loves Lydia back - reserving her biggest beaming smiles for her. They should make a great team as they get older!

Our roofing project!

Unfortunately the time for re-roofing our house came a couple of years earlier than planned - thanks to a persistent leak in the lounge room roof which returned after every roof repair attempt.

We knew the job was going to be quite expensive as we'd discovered (before we bought the house) that the roof contained asbestos and would require professional removal - but the cost escalated dramatically once the workmen came and viewed the house - it's situation (high on poles on a sloping section) and structure (numerous sections at different angles, most quite steep) not only made the job ridiculously expensive, but also scared virtually everyone who came to quote away, so we ended up with only one company who was prepared to do the job - not giving us much opportunity to bargain for the best price!!!

BEFORE: Pretty shabby looking after
20 years and numerous repair jobs!



As Once the full potential cost became clear we decided to spread the roofing project over a year or two, something we could do because the roof is in several different sections. So we proceeded with Stage One of the project in mid-August, re-roofing the two north-west roofs which covered our dining, lounge and nursery rooms. This also included a new external chimney and new guttering on the old roof above the area being redone (as it previously didn't have any, resulting in a waterfall falling on the lower roof!). The new roofing is Coloursteel, in "New Denim Blue" (a bluish grey colour).

Because of the asbestos content in the old roof we had to move out of the house while the work was being done, so we timed the job to coincide with Brent's parents' overseas trip, as they had kindly offered us the use of their house while they were away. Our dining room was emptied and the walls and floor covered entirely in plastic (as the asbestos roof that came off was to all be carried through this room and out the front door to the disposal truck) and guard rails were temporarily installed around the roof line. The old roof was removed and disposed of in about 3 hours (there were about a dozen men involved, all wearing full asbestos-proof suits, the sight of which apparently alarmed one of our neighbours!). The whole job took almost 9 days to complete - at which time we moved back home, and admired the final result - very smart! It rained constantly over the next few days, giving the new roof a very good test, which it passed with flying colours.

AFTER: Much better!!!


So here's how the house is looking at the completion of Stage One - definitely half complete (!) but offering a clear promise of a much smarter-looking house once it's all finished. Stage Two is to re-roof the rest of the house (shown top and right in this photo). The guttering and down-pipes (currently white) will all end up the same colour as the roof, so they won't be nearly so obvious.

We'll also be repainting the deck doors and the top rails on all the decks either the same colour as the roof or a colour that coordinates with it. In the longer term, the balusters and palings on the three decks that you can see here will all be re-done (they are pretty weather-beaten and in two totally different styles at present - the larger main deck has a particularly fetching plastic green mesh attached right along the inside as the balusters are too far apart on their own...).

So much to do! Never mind, we'll get there in the end, and the house will look fantastic!!!

Lydia's progress

Lydia is getting more and more grown-up all the time - her speech continues to develop all the time (she's really developing her sentences now), and almost never stops! She really loves going to crèche - she still goes two morning a week (Mondays and Fridays). We go to coffee group every Wednesday morning (which now involves about eight mothers, eight 2-year-olds and almost as many babies ranging from newborn to a little over a year old, so it can get pretty hectic!).

Lydia is now very familiar with the alphabet (upper and lower-case) and recognises all the numbers up to 12. She loves dressing up in her fairy dress outfit (with all the extras like crown, wand etc) and dancing around her bedroom while Spot or Bananas In Pajamas songs are playing.

She's showing an early interest in computers which her father has embraced (!), he has now built her her own little computer desk which sits in the corner of our study - Lydia inherited my old computer (as Brent bought me a new computer for my birthday). She already has a selection of educational games to play on there - her favourite so far is her Blues Clues game (she LOVES Blues Clues!).

Lydia at creche - way
too busy to say "cheese"!


Sonia's weight-loss drive!

Unfortunately I have one of those bodies that gets really huge during pregnancy... and the weight didn't fall off after Lydia's birth as I had expected it would (never having had any weight problems previously in my life)! Then I gained a fair bit more weight again with Emily's pregnancy. I've been determined to lose my pregnancy weight as quickly as possible this time around - ideally down to close to my pre-Lydia weight.

I've been working extremely hard at it, by initiating an exercise programme where I do a hilly one-hour walk 4 or 5 days each week (while Lydia is at creche etc, pushing Emily ahead of me in her mountain buggy) and on days when I don't get to walk I do an hour-long aerobics video while the girls have their mid-day nap. The result so far is encouraging - I've lost 10kgs in 4 months! - and that's without dieting (as I'm still breastfeeding), just sensible eating... This means I'm now just back to my pre-Emily weight - I have to lose more though to get closer to my pre-Lydia weight - another 7 kgs or so and I'll be happy... but I'm driven to achieve that by the first quarter of 2004. The exercising does get quite addictive - I am enjoying it which makes it a lot easier to keep going with it.

My apologies to my friends who have seen and heard much less from me over this time - the exercising has consumed every ounce of my 'spare' time and I spend the rest of the day looking after our girls and catching up with the domestics well into the night. It's been a challenge to keep everything going!

I look forward to reaching my goal, so that I can return to a more balanced and sociable life!


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