Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's been a while....

..anyone else humming the song of the same name by Staind? No? Oh well, carrying on....

We've had a bit going on, of late.  And it's probably time that I filled you in on it, to be honest.  It all started about four weeks ago, when my sister in law suffered a couple of turns that saw her ambulanced off to the hospital late one Wednesday night.  Her 10 year old daughter (our niece) found her on the garage floor at 10pm after hearing noises, and phoned us for help.  D rushed there straight away, and called for an ambulance.  She had fallen heavily, her head taking a lot of the impact, and suffered a broken nose and multiple lacerations/abrasions to her head and shoulders.  To be honest, she was a bit of a mess.  She stayed in hospital overnight, but was discharged the following day, with instructions to rest up.  Kind of a hard ask for a single mum with three kids aged 10, 4 and 2....  The other issue, of course, was that she couldn't be left on her own, in case of a repeat occurrence.  Not to mention that after a turn, her brain gets 'muddled' and usually takes a couple of days to sort itself out.  Long story short, seeing as MIL was preparing for a full house for BIL's wedding, we helped look after SIL for a few days, and her kids were shipped off to see their Dad for a bit.  The thing is, the usual couple of days of feeling muddled kept continuing, and SIL wasn't able to do much except sleep.  Even eating was an issue, as she was dealing with bouts of nausea from the concussion.  Several visits to the GP and Hospital ensued, incorporating blood tests and CAT scans.  Final disgnosis? Traumatic Brain Injury, which can only be healed by resting her brain, and may take several months to come right.  As if the poor girl hadn't been through enough already.  So in the interim, the two younger kids stayed with their Dad, and we had our niece move in with us for a bit, so that SIL could rest at her mother's place.

Unfortunately, in the midst of this, we had a trip planned to go to Auckland to see my sister Sarah and her partner.  Niece B went out to her grandparents while we were away.  When we got back from that trip, it was time for BIL's wedding, then B came back to stay with us again.  See?  There's been a bit happening!

So.... here's our Auckland trip, in photos:
Day 1 (Thursday) - leave Timmers at lunchtime, and drive to Christchurch to catch our 3pm flight.

At Christchurch Airport, waiting to board the plane


J handing over his boarding pass

Walking across the tarmac to our plane

Day 2 (Friday) - Hanging out at Sarah's flat, playing with the dogs, then off to The Lone Star for tea, yummo!
Duke - Sarah's partner Kelvin's dog

He wasn't keen on posing for photos, he just wanted to show me that his possum had a squeaker in it!

Brutus - Sarah's baby (he really does think that he's a BIG dog, I am sure!)

Dinner at The Lone Star... trying to get a decent photo of Sarah and Kelv together

NOT an easy task!

J colouring-in while waiting for tea to arrive

Family photo time!

Ahhh, got one of them!  Check out that baby bump, teehee

Day 3 (Saturday) - Auckland Zoo

Here we go.....

Mother and baby giraffe

Male Lion

Ahh the life of a Lioness!


J posing....

...and again!

The one and only Serval, hiding (as cats do best)

Fudge the Hippo (yup that's about all we saw of her)

Look at those cute little ears!

Osirus and Anubis, the Zoo's two cheetahs, now about 5 years old.  Not sure which one is which.

Not a bad life they lead, huh?

The Lemurs were cool - they did lots of tree-hopping

D and I in the Japanese Garden (taken by J)

Two of the Galapagos Tortoises - there are three in total.  Smiley, Snapper and Chippy.  We listened to keeper Lana talk about them, it was very interesting.  They are attracted to orange and red foods, they have a brilliant sense of smell, and they like to have their shells massaged!


About to get said massage from Lana.  Lana was also kind enough to take J's Zoo 3 DVD and get it signed by some of the keepers.
Spider Monkey

Cute little Otters... they talked back to you when you talked to them.

Very observant and inquisitive, they don't miss a thing.

Baby Spider Monkey resting on Mummy Spider Monkey as the other monkeys groom her (ick!)

OUR monkey!

Malek - happily sleeping in the shade (it was a nice warm day)

Oz - pacing around his enclosure and 'talking' to us...

Oz 'talking'

J on the giant Chinese Dragon in the playground

'Can I be an egg, Mum?' 'Yup, you can!'  followed by 'Come on you eggs, smile!'  Ha ha ha!

J in the Meerkat enclosure - there are tunnels underneath with these pop up domes you can peek through... way cool!

Mummy and Daddy Meerkat huddling under the heat lamp together

After finishing at the Zoo, we drove down to the Viaduct to check out some of the boats.  This one is on special, Grandad Ian! (marked down from $2.5 million - bargain!)

Driving over the Harbour Bridge, on the way to Wairau Park where NZ Scrapbook is!

A shot of the Sky Tower on our way back through the City

Action Shot!

Day 4 (Sunday) - went for a cruise over to North Head.  North Head was one of a number of defence forts that were rapidly set up in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian attack. The fort was later expanded as part of Auckland's coastal defence system during World Wars I and II.  There are all these cool tunnels and huge gun fortresses that you can wander through.  Unfortunately it was both windy AND rainy, so no photos of any of that, sorry.  Check out the link above for more info.

Day 5 (Monday) - Went to check out the Sky Tower, grabbed a bakery lunch, walked the dogs in the Botanical Gardens (literally only a couple of blocks from Sarah's flat), then back to the airport for the trip home.
The mighty Sky Tower (I like this shot!)

Auntie Sarah with J.  Won't be long before he's as tall as she is!

View from the top, looking at the Harbour Bridge

Looking over toward North Head (the 'dome' shaped edge of coast near the RHS of the photo)

In the Botanical Gardens with Duke and Brutus

J was chuffed to walk Duke himself (although he was only allowed to after Duke had run around a bit and puffed himself out!)

Hmmm, who's the boss here?!!!

'Um, Muuuum.....HELP!'  Ha ha ha ha!

The incredibly nice captain and co-captain on our Jetstar flight.  Will have to photoshop J's eyes open before I print this one for scrapbooking!
 And that, my friends, was our Auckland trip.  Oh, and I missed my Wednesday Weigh-In on Oct 13th as I was sitting with foils in my hair waiting for the colour to take hold.  Had to get rid of the regrowth before the wedding!  Anyhoo, more blog posts to follow...


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