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Archive for July, 2012

The Canterbury earthquakes (Christchurch is in Canterbury) devastated the Christchurch Business District (CBD). About 70% of the buildings within the CBD have either been demolished or are set to be demolished in the near future. So with all of the vacant lots in Christchurch, there needs to be a plan to bring the city back to life. That plan came out today.

There is a lot of opportunity for Christchurch to either succeed magnificently or fail miserably. If the plan works then Christchurch will be one of the most vibrant cities in the entire world. If the plan fails it could be a colossal waste of time, money and resources. No matter what happens, it should be exciting.

The plan is known as the 100 Day Plan. The Christchurch City Council was given 100 days to come up with a plan. They are going to try to compress the CBD into a very tight area with loads of activities, and businesses with more pedestrian areas and bike lanes. The plan is that within the CBD you can get anywhere by walking, with the same amount or more attractions as before. It seems to be a very ambitious plan.

Here is a link to a video introducing the 100 Day Plan:

http://ccdu.govt.nz/video-gallery/introducing-the-christchurch-central-recovery-plan

People living in the eastern suburbs are upset, not with the plan but that there is more focus on repairing the CBD than on repairing their homes. I completely understand their frustrations but at the same time, if the CBD is not repaired then Christchurch will turn into a ghost town. It will be a city without a heart. It would be like living in a subdivision with a barren waste land in the middle. What needs to happen, is while the CBD is being rebuilt, the government needs to put a lot of real pressure on the insurance companies, who still haven’t paid out. No more harsh words but more action.

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Today E is one month old!  Crazy!  Here is a photo of him from today:

Also, today while we were in a church meeting, the loudest burp known to man erupted from E’s mouth.  It reminded me of one of my brother’s burps!  People in the front of the room could hear the burp.  To give you an idea of the size of the room, we were sitting in the very back of the room of about 75 to 100 people.  Jeff and I were trying not to laugh too hard.  Just to let you know, babies and children are not separated during church business meetings or even church service.   They actually welcome and enjoy hearing a baby cry during the services/meetings!

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Sunday was Jeff’s birthday.  In celebration we drove out to the base of Mount Hutt. During the trip we also stopped at the Rakaia Gorge and Lake Coleridge.

I was a bit worried about how E would take the trip but he did really well. We only had to stop once to feed him and settle him. It was about a 1.5 hour drive to Lake Coleridge so he did well considering.

We first drove southwest of Christchurch towards Mt. Hutt. On the way, we crossed the Rakaia River at the Rakaia River Gorge Bridge which was built in 1882 (very innovative for the time). It was really cool and the water was a beautiful blue color from glacial deposits. You can even take a jet boat ride up the river (we saw them drive around the day we were there). It looks like fun but it sure is expensive.

After that we drove along the Rakaia River at the base of Mt Hutt. Mt. Hutt just sprang forth from the earth. It was absolutely amazing.

Then we drove to Lake Coleridge. It is a large glacier carved lake in the Southern Alps. The lake was absolutely stunning. It’s not a swimming lake though. We’ve been told it is quite cold. Also there is apparently really good fishing in Lake Coleridge. We hope to rent a cabin for a short holiday in the summer time.

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4 Weeks Old

Today E is 4 weeks old.  Man, time has flown by (so much that I didn’t realize it was already Friday until today).  E weighed 4350 grams today, which is 9 pounds 5 ounces.  He is currently breastfeeding almost every hour during the day at the moment (growth spurt or just for comfort?) and every 2-4 hours at night.  We are doing on demand feeding so if he wants to eat, he will get it.  He is still wearing newborn clothes, but the ones with feet attached to the outfit aren’t long enough for him anymore.  I’m not a big fan of those because 1.) E grows out of them quicker and 2.) E doesn’t have issues keeping socks on his feet at all.  Here are two 4 weeks old photos in two different outfits:

E looks like he is about to rap a song.

E elbowing the Sheep saying “Hey sheep, what do you think of this lady taking our photo?”

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Today Jodi came by again to check up on both myself and E.  She loves his facial expressions.  He is a very alert and healthy little man.  E does have a lot of wind (NZ’s word for gas), which causes him to cry and spit up a lot.  He has gained a lot of weight since he was last weighed.  He now weighs 4050 grams.  Tomorrow E has his newborn hearing test at Burwood Hospital.  So hopefully everything will go well in that area.

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Jeff here again.

On July 14 my work had their Mid-Winter Ball held at the Air Force Museum.  How in the world do you have a party in an Air Force Museum?  Well, one of the side effects of the earthquakes has been that most of the large venues in Christchurch have been destroyed. So there was a big search all throughout the city to find a place big enough for all 140 employees and their partners. Luckily, since the earthquakes, the Christchurch Air Force Museum rearranged inside the museum to make room for large events. So it is an absolutely wonderful venue!

The Social Club at work, who organized the Mid-Winter Ball, decided that since the event would take place in an air force museum, we should dress up in air force/military attire. Then it progressively evolved into not only military attire, but also anything related to the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s or airplanes.  I was trying to figure out if Amanda and I would be able to go, let alone try to figure out what we would wear. With only one week to go, I asked people at work what they suggested in regards to bringing E and having him sit in his car seat next to us during the ball. Also, a guy at work named Reon brought in a lot of military clothing for the guys and some 1920’s clothing for the girls. His wife is starting a costume business which is why he had so much clothing to suit the occasion. After much debate, we decided to go and were prepared to leave if E became too tired and fussy.   So, I got an olive suit and hat which was the only thing that came close to fitting. Amanda dressed up in her gray dress which she looks great in (and fit into only two weeks after birth).

On Friday, we were invited to go to Wendy and Peter’s bach (a bach is a kiwi’s vacation home and It’s pronounced “batch”) near Diamond Harbor on Saturday, which is about an hour drive from our house. So we decided that even though it would be a busy day, it would be mostly driving and might help with getting E to be a little more settled and tired for the Ball.

On Saturday we drove to the Bach at about 9:30 am. We had lunch with Wendy and Peter and enjoyed the absolutely magnificent view, as well as the wonderful weather (it was a high of 18C on Saturday). We then drove back to Christchurch at around 2:30 pm and took a nap for a few hours before the Ball. E was very settled after the drive and seemed to be in the mood for a good long sleep.

We arrived at the Air Force Museum around 6:30. When we got there, we were instantly greeted with excitement over people wanting to meet E. The guys I work with in the Land Development Department greeted us and said that my outfit made me look like Moammar Gaddafi. So I went with it and told them that I stole a baby on the way and pointed to E.

Me looking like General Gaddafi

 Other people at the Ball were dressed as all sorts of things. There were PanAm stewardesses, pilots, and my boss Malcolm was dress up like a German Nazi commander which was kind of interesting. Everyone really made an effort to dress up.

E did great throughout the party, which was held in the airplane hangar of the museum.

Entering into the Airplane Hangar, where the party was held

Elijah sat in his car and slept for the majority of the evening.  He only became grizzly twice when he needed to be fed.

E sat right next to us during the party.

E screaming “Mommy, stop taking photos and feed me!!!”

Everyone was commending us on bringing him along with us. We actually were able to eat dinner together while talking to other adults. Dinner consisted of a buffet which had steak, potatoes, chicken wrapped in something that was awesome, and all sorts of bread.  It was a very nice evening. We were having such a good time that we didn’t even realize what time it was. It was time for E to be fed again and we looked at the clock and it was after 10pm! So we fed him, said our goodbyes and then headed home.

All in all it was a great evening. Needless to say we were very tired but glad that we went.

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