|Merry Christmas to you all! We're looking forward to sharing our
first Christmas together with Emily after another very busy year! Here's
what we've been up to in the last few months...
|We escaped to the Outrigger Resort again in Fiji in
September, together with Brent's parents Glyn and Noleine, and
Brent's sister's family (Donna, David, Katie and Zack) to
celebrate Noleine's birthday. Fiji put on some wonderful weather
while we were there - the temperature was just right, nice and
sunny and with a light sea breeze which helped us stay
Most days we spent the morning down at the pool (Emily had
her morning nap in her shaded stroller) - Lydia couldn't wait to
get her togs on and jump into the water! We had to drag her out
to go have her midday sleep with Emily back in the hotel room,
while Brent and I relaxed in the next room. Then it was back
down for another swim in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon
Lydia and Katie would play on the new playgym (a great gym, new
since we were there last year) at the Kids Club until they had
their Kids Club dinner. Meanwhile Emily had her afternoon nap
again the stroller. After dinner, Brent would take Lydia
frog-hunting which she thought was great fun (one time she got
so excited she accidentally jumped on one...thankfully he
survived and jumped away very quickly!) and gecko-spotting. A
few nights we got a babysitter in and went out for dinner at the
resort's restaurants with the family as soon as the girls were
both in bed.
One day we again visited the local wildlife zoo across the
road from the resort together with Noleine, Glyn and Katie. The
girls thoroughly enjoyed it and were fascinated by all the birds
and lizards that they could see up so close. We all agreed that
it was one of Fiji's best-kept secrets - more visitors should go
All in all it was a fantastic holiday - a very relaxing
and fun time for all!
Emily with two of the many staff wanting to adopt her as
|Lydia lived in the pool!
Having fun with Nana and Grandad
Emily took to the water with Nana
Lydia's specially dyed Tshirt (bottom left)
Off to the Wildlife Park
One of the gorgeous birds at the Park
|Froghunting - "There's one!"
Having fun on the Resort's new gym
Glyn's scrummy dessert!
Things still aren't
too easy with dear wee Emily - she has lots of problems with
wind, and the colic returned after a short absence. The
good news is that her reflux problems are well under
control, now that we have found a medication which
essentially cures it, reducing my washing loads
considerably! It's getting slowly better but the wind
has become a big problem at night... it turns out that
this is a side effect from the reflux medication!!!
She's still very petite for her age, an average height
for her age, just very slim, and a cute little head
which keeps it all in proportion - she looks just like a
little doll! We're pretty sure the slimness is from her
Dad so we're not at all worried about it now...
None of this is holding her back at all - she's an amazing little girl! She decided in her 7th month
to abandon the notion of crawling (she hates tummy time
thanks to the wind and reflux problems) and go straight
to walking instead! She'd been walking around furniture
for some time, her confidence increasing all the time,
trying to reach just that little bit further all the
time. Then one day she let go of the coffee table and
walked across to the couch! We didn't believe it at
first, as she was still not even 8 months old! But
walking she was! She still takes a few tumbles
(particularly when Lydia whooshes past her!), but they
are a lot less than in the beginning, and the distances
she'll chance crossing are increasing all the time (up
to as much as across a whole room!).
Every now and again though she suddenly regresses and
wants to hold a finger for security (which I actually
prefer - its safer!). After a few days of this though she
suddenly takes off on her own again! So she's our little record
breaker (Lydia didn't walk till just after her 9th month
- we thought that was early!!!).
She walked over to me straight after I took this
photo (taken at 8 months)!
|Lydia's a big girl now!
Lydia hit a major milestone in the last few months by
being fully potty trained, in record time and with
hardly any accidents! We decided to wait until we were
sure she was ready (as most of our house is carpeted!),
changed her to training pants for about 10 days, then to
panties. After just a couple of accidents she was staying dry
all day! Then after about a week I noticed she was
staying dry at nights, so changed her to panties at
night. Only one accident in her bed since! I'd been
really dreading this whole exercise, but it turned out
to be a breeze! What a clever little girl!
speech is now full on - full sentences, with better
pronunciation too. She never stops talking now, and
recently she's been asking "what's this" (to learn new
words) all the time! Her
drawing is also improving markedly, with objects, faces,
shapes and letters all becoming very clear to us. She
loves painting (she does a lot at Creche), and also
dancing and singing (and occasionally yelling out
"Yeah!"), which is a scream to watch!
She is also very active, loves playgyms and scooting
around like a mad thing on her tricycle - showing no
caution or fear! Fortunately the deck is nice and safe
for her so she rarely comes to any grief!
Mastering the wobbly bridge in Fiji
Coffee Group Christmas Party
Our coffee group
(formed around Lydia's birth -originally 13 families with kids due
at same time) still meets every Wednesday morning and the kids
have a great time playing together while their Mums have another
good natter, not just about toddlers and babies but about life in
general! We all really enjoy getting together, so we expect this
arrangement to continue indefinitely! Virtually all of us now have
two children so it can get pretty busy, though family numbers have
dropped to 8 since some mothers returned to work.
Click here to meet all the little members of the Coffee Group Club!
|This year we hosted the
annual Christmas party for our Coffee Group, holding it down on the
new deck which has become very popular with the kids! Our neighbour
Colin very kindly agreed to dress up as Santa to hand out the
kiddies presents and did a fabulous job! The weather was perfect and
the time flew by very quickly - no-one seemed to want to leave - so
we measured that as being a big success!
Until our next Update...
|We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy
We've been working on the front garden again over the last few
weeks, removing the old dilapidated fence, and moving the side one
back to our boundary (giving us another 4 metres or so of garden on
one side) which included adding a small retaining wall to level out the
new garden area. At time of writing, we're about halfway
there, the old fence is long gone, the framing for the new fence is
all up and painted (same colour as our new roof), the retaining wall
is in and the new garden area has been filled to level with earth. The fence
panels have just been delivered and will be installed on Monday.
Then we have to plant up the new extension to our garden. It's going
to be an impressive transformation once it's all complete!
Above right: Preparing for our front garden project
(part of old fence removed,
so we could investigate our land behind it, now part of the extended
|We'll share the full story and final pics in our next update, at
the end of February 2004. We also hope to share the results of our
big planned summer projects which include starting on the
re-landscaping of our back garden! It's slower going now that we
have two kids to look after, but we'll get there in the end!