Archive for March, 2017

Jeff here.

I’m a bit late writing this post. As you’re most likely aware, on November 14, 2016 there was a 7.8M earthquake centered about 15km northeast of Culverden in the South Island of New Zealand. The faults from this earthquake ruptured northeast towards Kaikoura and out to sea. State Highway 1 (SH1) and the main rail link from the Waiau River (5km south of Kaikoura) to the Clarence River (50km north of Kaikoura) suffered significant damage and will not be open for some time yet. The road has been closed due to roadway collapse, land uplift of +2m, and massive land slides.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to go to Kaikoura and inspect culverts along SH1 for damage and to flag those that required immediate repair/replacement in order to get the highway open as soon as possible. There were around 300 culverts to be inspected by two teams of two on SH1. The culverts south of Kaikoura had easy access and actually suffered very little damage from the earthquake…besides having 10 million cubic meters of soil on top of them.

The culverts north of Kaikoura were still mostly intact but were hard to get to because of the landslides. For these culverts, we had to take a helicopter to the Clarence River and walk as far south as we could get or until we met the other team who were walking north and helicoptering around the landslides. As with the culverts south of Kaikoura, the culverts north of Kaikoura suffered very little damage, that is except for those unlucky few that just happened to be in the path of a fault rupture. All in all, it was a great few days with beautiful weather and scenery.

Here are some photos:

The helicopter staging area. They were using monsoon buckets to wash loose rocks off the unstable slopes.

Large landslide on State Highway 1. If you look closely you can see the railway line pushed onto the beach.

The entire hillside collapsed.

This was just a really nice view.

The gabion basket retaining wall rolled down the hill causing the road to collapse.

This culvert was pretty easy to inspect. The road has uplifted around 2-3m.

This is the other end of the land uplift about 1km down the road. There is a box culvert that is broken in half.

The railway line will be quite difficult to fix.

The other end of the uplift/fault rupture.

Nice place for a picnic.


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I really like the weekly photos being posted into one post between each month.  It makes life a little bit easier for me.  I will probably continue to post M’s weekly photos like this for a while.

31 Weeks Old on February 28, 2017:

32 Weeks Old on March 7, 2016

This week I purchased a new lotion called Manuka Biotic for M’s skin as it was recommended to me by three different people.

33 Weeks Old on March 14, 2017

This week M has started lifting off his belly and trying to get on top of his knees.  He has also started to venture around a room.  E and C don’t seem to like M’s newest ability of getting around as it puts their toys in jeopardy of being taken.

34 Weeks Old on March 21, 2017

The lotion I purchased has made a difference.  It has the same effect as the mild steroids!  Unfortunately, it is expensive and we go through one tube of the lotion a fortnight.  The lotion has a strong smell too.  So we have been putting the lotion given to us by the doctor that is fragrance free on top of it.

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At 7 Months Old, M is now not only rolling around, but he is also pushing himself forward with his feet.

He has started eating solids.  He wasn’t very keen at the start of eating solids.  He still doesn’t eat heaps and sometimes isn’t interested.  He has tried a variety of foods so far.  He enjoys meat and nectarines.  He hasn’t enjoyed vegetables that are cold.  He can only manage to be in his highchair for a max of 5-10 minutes before he gets fussy.  M really likes to drink water though.

M still has breastmilk every two hours during the day.  He will let you know if he wants it by making this cute “I’m hungry whine” that he only makes when he wants breastmilk.  When we are playing on the floor when it is close to having a feed, he will roll over to me make his breastmilk whine and start grabbing at my shirt where my breasts are.  At night, I’ve cut out his 3am feed.  That leaves only one feed sometime between 10pm and 11pm.

His favorite toy is the maraca. M has started playing hide and seek.  He will roll into me and hide his face under my arm.  When I say “where’s M?”  He immediately jerks his head back, smiles, and giggles.

All of a sudden, M blabs away all day long.  M is loud too!  He will wake around 6:30am and after a feed I place him back in his bed and he will just talk and talk and talk.

M is not ticklish at all!  What’s up with that?!?!

His body is still covered in eczema.

He takes about three naps a day.  They vary in length from 40 minutes to 2 hours.  If he doesn’t have his power nap around 4:30pm, M is in bed for the night by 6pm.

M loves to watch his brothers play around him.

He is currently wearing sizes 6 months, and 6-9 months clothes.

7 Months on February 26, 2017

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Jeff here,

I’ve got a project at work in construction at Castle Hill Village near Arthur’s Pass. Last Friday, my weekly construction meeting was moved to 9:30am so that gave me the perfect opportunity to go up Mt Cloudsley for a bit of fun and training for Nepal.

I wanted to get the work vehicle back before 7pm so I took the bike to make things a bit quicker as the first portion of the trip up Cloudsley is on the Hogsback Mountain Bike Track.

The route that I took to the top.

Got the bike out to start the track.

One thing I forgot was that I’m terrible at mountain biking so by the time I reached the point where the Hogsback Track intersects with Long Spur to begin walking up Mt Cloudsley, I was completely exhausted. I had to lay down in the grass and then eat my lunch to bring my energy levels back up. I pushed up the Long Spur and it began to get steep. It was really getting steep and then I saw Point 1855 so I pushed on. Then I realised that it was a false peak which was a major hit to my morale. I made it to the saddle and told myself that I was only going to go for 15 more minutes and then turn around as I was running low on water. Luckily I made it to the top within the allocated time.

Mt Cloudsley from the Hogsback Track with Long Spur in the middle of the photo.

It’s getting steep! It’s a long way to go to the top.

Above all the vegetation and it quite barren. Point 1855 is in the foreground with Mt Cloudley in the background.

I sidled around Point 1855 to the saddle. It looked like a moonscape up there.

From the top, you could see Lake Coleridge.

The view of Castle Hill Village from the top. You can barely see Lake Pearson on the left most part of the photo.

A very ragged me at the top. Trust me, I feel as bad as I look.  But, Amanda says I look handsome.

I only stayed at the top for a few minutes for a rest and photos and then made my way down as I didn’t know what time it was. I finally reached my bike and began biking down. By the way, mountain biking with jelly legs is quite scary. The bike down only took about 5 minutes instead of a 45 minute walk. All in all, I made the entire 1350m (4429ft) elevation gain walk/bike in around 5 hours.

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E has said some pretty funny/cute things over the last few months.  Here are some examples:

  1. E found a 20 cent piece. He handed it to me asking me if we can put it towards a holiday. I said, “of course, that’s very thoughtful of you. Where would you like to go?”  “I want to go to America so we can drive on the right side of the road,” E proclaimed.
  2. E and C are fishing off the back of our couch. I’m preparing homemade pizza and I over hear E tell C “here come the vaginas. Look they are biting your feet.”
  3. Watching Obama’s farewell speech. When Obama said, “My fellow Americans”, E says “We’re fellow Americans.”
  4. A conversation with E at the dinner table.
    E: I don’t like vegetables.
    Me: Oh, really?
    E: Yeah. (Pause)
    Mommy, can I have more kale, please?
    Me: Sure. Is kale a vegetable, E?
    E: Yes. I like kale! It grows from a plant.
  5. E was playing with his penguins. He had one under his shirt and in his belly.  The penguin was born and then he shouts “call Jodi (our midwife)! She needs to put the penguin back in my belly!”

E still isn’t very into arts and crafts.  However, he can now color in the lines.  E can write the letter “E” and is working on writing the rest of his name.

E is really into putting his stuff into boxes.  He wants to bring a box home from preschool everyday.

He still likes PAW Patrol, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse, and the Octonauts.

Reading is still a favorite activity for E.  E also enjoys walking around the red zone picking fruit.  C and E often play pirates together.  They play really nicely together!!!

E’s favorite color is green.  He also still likes to wear his clothes on backwards and his shoes on the incorrect feet.

E loves M and is now attempting to pick him up to move him where he wants to play together.


4.4 on November 29, 2016


4.5 on December 29, 2016


4.6 on January 29, 2017

4.7 on February 28, 2017

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28 Weeks Old

M really enjoys eating nectarines.


February 7, 2017

29 Weeks Old

This week M started pushing himself forward with his feet while lying on his belly.


February 14, 2017

30 Weeks Old

This week M reacted to peanuts.  I gave M a rice cake, which he has had before, but this time with peanut butter on it because E and C wanted it. I figured M could try it too. While still in his highchair, M’s face turned really red and then white swollen spots appeared and then his eyes became swollen.  His breathing wasn’t impacted except he instantly had a running/snotty nose. I gave him an antihistamine immediately.  We went to the doctor’s office and they recommended M avoid peanuts as the next reaction could be worse.


February 21, 2017


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And just like that it is now March!  And I’m behind on the blog!  I was hoping to be up to date by the time my school semester started, which was Monday last week, but that didn’t happen.  Oh well.  So expect a mass postings over the next few days on what we’ve been up to lately along with the weekly/monthly photos of the boys.c-3-2-years-18

3.2 Years on February 14, 2017

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