made it to breakfast, photo place, post shop (very civilized here with places to by cards and magazines and all your packing materials and short waits to pay), bus to grocery and taxi home that day. pete surprised us by getting home before 5.30 - i think aidan was still napping.
don't know what is up with these hotels we stay in. around 2 just as i was thinking to myself "naptime" the fire alarm went off. i had to walk the 2 kids down 7 flights of stairs (after confirming with the front desk via phone). aidan got to see 3 fire trucks (and we had seen 4 race by when we had breakfast). he didn't like the loud alarm noise at all. fortunately it was over quickly - pretty much as we got downstairs they were packing up). when we were in brisbane there was an alarm around 8.30 at night - and that one lasted a good hour and half before they let us go back to our rooms - and not all guests were allowed to return. they couldn't find the problem (airconditioning fanbelt or something).
today, saturday, we rented a car and used it to get to the neighborhood where we were looking to rent - as between us we had double booked a few lookings! i took aidan and pete took quincy. we actually had gotten back together to see 2 good contenders and i think (hope) we have the one we want. assuming landlord likes our paperwork we may have a "home" next weekend! i'll write more when it is real. the location looks like pete could hop a 17 minute bus ride to his new office location from 1/2 block from the 3 bedroom townhouse with an enclosed patio. it is just 2 or 3 (long) blocks to a beach too - aidan LOVES beaches. he also loves collecting sticks and picked up a ton on our walk thru the neighborhood while house hunting. there are many restaurants and a few stores also a block from the house. and best yet it has a connected 2 car garage so i could take the kids to the grocery store (and the white car to ride!) which has covered parking and never get wet in the rains :-)
after a fluffy and mochaccino break we hopped in our car and headed to Devonport. i learned from actually looking at a map that it isn't an island at all but more of a spit of land that juts out in water (bay??) toward auckland city center. a fairly quick drive despite having to go over and around to get there. we hit up TWO playgrounds and the beach to aidan's delight. had a nice walk waterfront too - cute buildings somewhat victorian in their appearance with the wood cutouts like in s.f. only more simplified. went to a cafe and had very yummy meal - including a pizza that had curry chicken, cashews, bananas, and minted yogurt drizzled on it - they don't seem to have "normal" pizzas! aidan had two more fluffies. a week ago aidan hesitated over going down a slide over 4' high - now there doesn't seem to be any (especially tunnel ones) that intimidate him. and he is much more comfortable with bigger kids too - he was even intimidating a kid today that was 3 or 4" taller than him - he just walked up and stared him down or something and the other kid ran away each time. a surprising change in such a short time. of course this time last year there was no ladder too high for him to climb. he just had gotten cautious to the extreme the last few months and if there were any larger kids ("scary kids") present he wouldn't even go on the equipment.
we had to hightail it home to catch "survivor". did i tell you about the 1st time we saw survivor? i had seen an advertisement for it i thought - only it turns out it was "austrailian survivor"! have to say they looked like a heartier bunch. more used to roughing it. we finally found good ole USA one last week - and it turns out it was the episode that would have been on at home on the day we left! so we haven't missed a thing - too funny. we were also happy to see that they have "west wing" on tv - except they are only up to about the 2nd episode of the year so far! there are 2 sports channels, a movie channel (no commercials but surprisingly few movies i want to watch), 4 local channels - one with NO american shows! others include shows such as buffy the vampire slayer, charmed, simpsons, malcolm in the middle, judging amy - quite a hodgepodge all round. blue's clues is on at 8.30 a.m. for those mornings aidan is up and interested - and they do it the "right" way here by showing same episode each day for a week so the kids can master it. we don't watch much tv.
last night quincy mastered rolling - he was rolling back and forth all around and very happy about it. sometimes several rolls in one direction - so he might use it as a means of transporting himself across a room like thomas did before long. he is definitely ahead of aidan in this regard, but then i expected that as he has always been much happier hanging out on his tummy than aidan ever was. he doesn't like being upside down - one of aidan's favorite positions as a baby (and now!). quincy is very quick to smile at people - but only from the comfort of being with mom or dad. i let a nice grandmotherly shop clerk hold him the other day - he had been happy and smiling at her. in very short order the little lip was quivering and then the face crumpled and he started crying. i could easily run the risk this summer (winter) of having the 2 boys get used to only "mum" looking after them (ie tears when reunited with babysitters/school/gym childcare back home).
today aidan kept his pull-ups dry all day! he told me several times he needed to "piss" (we call it pee but he calls it like it sounds). i had him go in the grass at one point as we weren't near anything. i think he really liked that idea as the next time he told me we were also outside - but this time near an occupied playground. and he told me "there's grass to go piss on mommy!". oh dear! this potty learning has been two steps forward and one step back. there was the time i told him it was time to go pee and he went - only he was standing in the middle of the living room. and the time he tried to go without using his stepstool and hosed down the front of the toilet instead. and the time he ran into the kitchen (in his pullups) and declared "i am NOT pooping". i'm actually amazed at how well he is doing in general. i just need to remember to ask him more frequently when we are near toilets to use and be willing to move him into big boy underwear and make sure i have a change of clothes in the car.
we may get a long term car this week - i found a reasonably cheap place (altho i don't know how old their cars are!). i have a callus on my "tallman" finger on right hand from one handed stroller steering.
i think pete's co-worker (the tech guy) is showing up in a week. pete is looking forward to having a compatriat (and the help of course!). as i mentioned, pete has finally been moved to his real office. his project is with vodafone - the local cell phone folks. pete still hasn't wrangled a personal cell phone out of them for his use... he has been working at KPMG's downtown office - they are teamed on the project with e.piphany. pete will have a couple of them "shadowing" him - he hopes that they actually are good for something and not just pupils - we'll see how it works out.