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Rory Gardiner's Webpage

12, Jan, 2011

Wednesday 12th January 2011


Happy New Year!  We feel fortunate as we begin the path into 2011. 

We are all well.  Having a new baby has had an impact on our lives, and is changing the dynamic of our family.  We have all had to adjust our pace and activities for him.  Colt is now 3.5 weeks old.  Although he initially lost weight (it took a little while for my milk to come in) he is now gaining 350g per week.  He is breastfed on demand, and feeds often during the day but mostly wakes once at night around 2am.  When the midwife weighed him this morning he was 4.1kg (around 9lb).  He has grown 6cm to 57cm.  His cord stump has healed, his hearing has been checked (normal), and he has peeled all over.  He pulls wonderful facial expressions when he is asleep, showing his dimples when he smiles.  Sam and Rory are helpful big brothers.  They bounce Colt in the bouncer, cuddle him, talk to him, and distract/entertain him when he cries.  Being responsible for a little person, their little person, is changing them.  They are more caring, less self focused, and more mature.  This change is particularly significant for Rory who was our baby, and the focus of much energy and attention.  Colt’s arrival has forced cancer into the background, so Rory can now be ‘normal’.  We expect him to be a big brother, in the same way as Sam.  I think it is good for him. 

We had a great Christmas.  A couple of days prior we introduced Colt to everyone at Taranaki Regional Council at the staff bbq.  Grannie and Grandad Gardiner drove south and spent Christmas with us.  They came bearing gifts and food.  It was a 6am start on Christmas Day.  We wished Grandad a Happy Birthday before the boys dived under the Christmas tree.  After breakfast we went to Nana and Poppa Honnor’s for morning tea and presents with Uncle Guy and cousins Sacha and Corbyn.  This was followed by lunch under the Mountain at cousin Jason and Wendy’s with our extended whanau.  The kids enjoyed the fine weather playing cricket, riding the slip and slide, water pistol fights, and on the tramp.  Colt didn’t stay awake long enough to open his presents, but we found a window of opportunity on the 26th and the boys helped him.  The boys got a little bit of money for Christmas.  I have enjoyed shopping with them in the sales.  It was a novelty having the freedom to buy what they liked.  It taught them about the value of money, and making choices to get the best deal.  None of us made it up to see in the New Year, but Sean and I were awake at 12.30pm giving Colt a feed. 

Sam and I started the New Year with my first run on the 1st.  We are alternating five minutes running with five minutes walking for a total of 40 minutes.  Prior to getting pregnant I was ahead of Sam, now he leads me along the road.  I had hoped to get out running four mornings a week, but it is very much dictated by how much sleep I’ve had, what time Colt wakes for his morning feed, and what we have to fit in to the morning.  It has been wonderful to see Rory bursting into a run more often.  He has his own unique style due to his physical deficits but he doesn’t let this put him off.  His lack of balance and left sided weakness add a level of risk to running which scares the heck out of me so I try and encourage him to stick to grassed areas and the beach.  Both boys are enjoying the opportunity to get outside in the fine weather but Rory has overheated several times.  Once he gets hot his temperature keeps increasing.  He gets red, tired and irritable.  I think the radiotherapy has damaged his internal temperature control mechanism.  So we keep a close eye on him, getting him into the shade to rest, and giving him cold drinks and iceblocks. 

We have managed to get out a fair bit.  We have done a lot of walking, along the Coastal Walkway, through the Maize Maze at Egmont Village, and playing nine holes of golf at Kaitake golf course yesterday morning with Nana Honnor and cousin Logan.  We took Colt (in the front pack) on his first tramp to the Boars Head Mine in the Kaitake Ranges.  Prospectors began digging the long mine shaft in 1868/69 looking for gold.  We also took him on his first visit up Mt Taranaki.  We tramped to Wilkes Pools and the big boys had a swim in the cold (10 degrees) mountain water, while I anointed Colt’s head with water from the pool.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch on a bridge on the loop track and I was thrilled to see a pair of Rifleman up close, and the threatened plant Dactylanthus (wood rose) growing inside a cage on the side of the track.  The boys have enjoyed numerous water activities in the Inglewood town pool, the Oakura River, East End beach, the river at Everett Park, and at home.  There has been swimming, boogey boarding, bombing into deep pools, sprinklers, slip and slide, and water pistols.  Sean and Sam went goat hunting with cousins Jason, Logan and Aaron, in NE Taranaki near Ohura.  They enjoyed exploring somewhere new, being in the bush, and the thrill of the hunt.  A couple of the boys (who I won’t name) came home sore and exhausted!  Rory, Colt and I spent the day in New Plymouth seeing Megamind at the movies, having lunch with Nana and Poppa, and shopping.  The girls (Jo, Janine, Mandy, Darlene) and their families came for a potluck dinner bearing gifts for Colt.  Time always goes fast when we are all together.  There is great food and plenty of (often raucous) conversation.  The kids had a great time in the warm evening, playing bat and ball games, having water fights, using the slip and slide, playing on the tramp, having a nerf war, and then settling with board games and puzzles.