All posts by dan

Munchkin on the mend

In the end both Kate and I decided we would stay last night at the hospital, so we were with Munchkin in the Intensive Care Unit. Once the anaesthetic had worn off yesterday afternoon she had moments of grumpiness, but we mainly put this down to her being tired and/or hungry and/or not sure where she was. She slept on and off through the night, more on than off following a dose of painkiller! Once she woke up at about 6.30am, though, she was a lot brighter – back to her normal, cheerful, smiley self.

Having made all the friends she could down in ICU she decided to turn her attention to the main ward, so arranged to be transferred up at about 9.30am. She is in a room with three other people – all teenagers suffering from burns as the result of a gas barbecue explosion incident thing. She doesn’t really like being cooped up in small spaces, as she loves crawling around exploring. Unfortunately this isn’t overly feasible in a small room, so we’re trying to find the balance between giving her space to roam while making sure she doesn’t wreak (too much) havoc!

We’re expecting a few visitors over the next day or two, with Tim, Sarah and Henry, Fernanda, Erica, Paul and Rachel, Jody and Madeline all saying they will pop in! At least we’ll have people we can palm Munchkin off to, for a few minutes, at least!

The surgeon popped in to see Isabel at 6pm-ish last night and said that he was very happy with the way the operation had gone. The surgeon putting her grommets in noticed a slight infection brewing on one side, so she will need to be on antibiotics after she leaves hospital, but the palate operation itself had been “text book”. He didn’t expect any further holes to develop, so the main things we need to focus on are simply helping her to recover, then helping her towards speech over the months / years ahead.

We had a visit from the speech therapist who is part of the team here (they have a dedicated team who specialise in everything that could be needed by babies with cleft palates / lips, from plastic surgeons, to speech therapists, to ENT people, etc. They deal with babies from the moment the cleft is first diagnosed, right through to adulthood.) She explained cleft babies tend to focus on sounds made at the back of the mouth rather than those at the front. We will therefore need to encourage her to be aware of, and use, the front of her mouth including her lips, teeth, jaws, etc. If the rate at which things go in her mouth at the moment is anything to go by, though, we shouldn’t have too many problems there!!

Well, I’d better go, as I’ve left Kate on Munchkin watch, although to be fair the little darling was fast asleep. Isabel, I mean, not Kate!! We’ll continue to keep you posted, especially when we know when we’ll be getting out of here.

Izzy gets another second cousin

Just thought we’d add a quick note to our site to wish my cousin and her family CONGRATULATIONS! on the safe arrival of the newest Papaioannou. At 1.34am California time on 13th November (approx. 10.34pm Kiwi time) little Oliver was born. We don’t know any more details at this stage, but trust all is well with mother and baby (not to mention daddy and big brother!).

CONGRATULATIONS! (See a link to Jo’s site in the left hand frame.)

We’ve got a wee cough

Er, I mean we’ve got a week off. Today (24th October) is Labour Day here in NZ, which means, rather ironically, that everything shuts down for the day and it is a public holiday. To save using my holiday entitlement we therefore decided that we’d take the rest of the week off for a well-deserved break. (Well deserved in our opinion, at least!) We’re planning to go away for a few days and have booked a mini-break in Taupo at the end of the week.

Although we’ve been there before, when we were over here on holiday in 2003, we didn’t spend much time there, so have decided to base ourselves there again and spend some time exploring the area. We plan to test drive the Munchkin carrier to make sure it works successfully and generally spend a few days getting some R&R.

Kate’s been looking in the Rough Guide and has found Taupo’s answer to a British pub. According to the description although it doesn’t look like a British pub it serves a dozen English beers which have travelled well (apparently) and it serves fish ‘n’ chips and an all-day breakfast. Well, it sounds like that’s the food and drink options sorted!!

Lions go out with a win

Well, the last game of the season for the Lions was a game only for pride and a chance to show the All Blacks and Hurricanes selectors what they can do. They played Taranaki on a wet and blustery Friday evening in New Plymouth. The Lions’ All Blacks players made the difference on the night and helped the team to a 31-17 win. Each side scored three tries, but it was the kicking of the Lions (first of all from Jimmy Gopperth (playing at an unfamiliar full-back position) then scrum half Piri Weepu once Gopperth was substituted) that made the difference. Four penalties and one extra conversion being the margin at the end.

So the Lions’ have a break now and can only sit back and watch the semis and final on TV. Hopefully, though, a number of them will be picked for the All Blacks Grand Slam tour of the UK which kicks off in four weeks’ time against the Welsh at the Millennium Stadium.

Bad news for Lions fans …

Unfortunately, the result of the all South Island clash this weekend was Otago 24 Canterbury 19. This meant that Otago moved up to third place, ahead of North Harbour, and means that, regardless of the results next weekend the Lions won’t make it to the semi-finals. They are five points behind Harbour, but even a bonus point win (ie five points) would mean that Harbour get through on the head to head result (Harbour beat us in our first home game of the season). D’oh!

Oh well. There’s always next year …..

Lions logo

Lions lose again

Well, the Lions’ hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals took another dent yesterday as they were unluckily beaten by Auckland, 29-22. Although the Lions had their big name All Blacks back (Umaga and So’oialo) and had most of the possession AND scored more tries, they still lost the game. And despite the fact that, in my humble, unbiased, one-eyed-fan’s perspective, the first of the two Auckland tries included a blatant forward pass and the second was scored from an offside position apparently didn’t matter – they were both still given. So, despite the fact that the moral victory was the Lions’ they only scored one point for NPC purposes. We’re therefore going to be dependent upon other results both this week and next to determine if we’re able to climb into the final semi-final place. Oh well, time will tell ….

Welcome to our new look website!!

We’ve finally got round to updating our web-site. Hopefully it all looks good on your screens too – the joys of having a widescreen laptop is the fact that things look a bit different on a normal monitor. Please let me know if there’s anything that doesn’t quite work.

The layout of the site should be self-exaplanatory, but in case you can’t work it out … I’ve copied across a number of our previous pages, mainly the ones to do with our time in NZ and Slug’s diary these can be accessed under “pages” (we’ll add posts to form an Isabel diary as we go, so that will create itself).

The gallery is still there, and you can access it from the “Gallery” link under “pages” on the left hand side. At least, that will take you to a page containing a link to the gallery. This will present you with a full screen gallery so if you want to return to our home page you’ll either have to use your browser’s “back” button or re-enter our main page URL. (If I get a chance I might see if I can set it up so that the gallery can be viewed in a frame rather than full screen, but for now you’ll have to put up with it!)

The categories will link through to the posts in a given category only, and the archives will link through to the posts in a given month. As we’ve only just set-up the new site there isn’t much history there yet, but hopefully these will build up over time.

Finally, for those interested, I have added a neat little plug-in that gives the current weather situation at Wellington Airport. Given we live about three minutes’ drive from the Airport (and can see the planes taking off and landing from our lounge window) it can be taken as a fairly good indication of the weather at our house!!

You should be able to add comments against each page and each post, as well as in the gallery as before.


Go Lions!

Having just managed to overcome the Bay of Plenty last week, we went to watch the Lions’ last home game of the season (unless they finish first or second in the table, of course, in which case they will play a home semi / final) not quite sure what to expect. The opposition was Southland, not normally regarded for their rugby achievements, but having had a number of reasonable results this season.

In the end it was a relatively one-sided affair, with Wellington running out winners 53-12 and scoring seven tries in the process. That consolidates our position in third place in the table, and means with a bit of luck we should make it through to the semi-finals. Having said that our last three games of the season are on the road, including away to Canterbury next week (they’re currently top of the table) then away to Auckland the week after (they’re currently second in the table). Oh well! We can but hope.

We were all able to go to the game this week as Rodney was on holiday in Rarotonga so his ticket was going spare. Unfortunately, having started off as a bright sunny day, the clouds came in mid-afternoon and the wind picked up. We’re due to be experiencing a southerly over the next few days too, so it was also a very cold wind.

Wellington win again – just!

Today was a glorious day in Wellington – bright sunshine, blue skies without a cloud in sight. Just the weather to be watching the Lions play rugby. Kate was a bit tired, so I ended up taking both Granny and Isabel to the game.

Wellington played in fits and starts. Having managed to get to a 23 – 8 lead at halftime, they decided not to play for most of the second, allowing Bay of Plenty to score 24 unanswered points to go out to a 32 – 23 lead. Fortunately for those of us who have paid to go and see them the Lions realised they were losing and chose to step up a gear in the last 15 minutes. They scored two more tries, one of which they were extremely lucky to have been given (it even went up to the video ref), and a penalty to end up winning 38 – 32 and move up to third in the table.

Lions win at last!

Having put up two dismal performances against North Harbour and Otago, the Lions finally put in a decent performance and beat Waikato 41-17. Unfortunately for us they were playing away in Hamilton, so we had to watch it on the TV. Still, it might not have been a bad thing, as it didn’t look to be too warm.