Tuesday, May 14, 2002

yesterday i convinced janelle to give public transportation in the bus form a try. we hopped on The Link and got off 3 or 4 stops along at area called Ponsonby. we had a nice wander through a neighborhood followed by a stop at "children's bookstore" - it had a brio train set up right at front - very smart so mums can shop in peace! picked up a few nifty books for aidan - one on going on a plane ride (which might make it's way to thomas before he heads to england), one on 1st day of school and one on listening (aidan likes to pretend he doesnt hear me sometimes!). also a wood rattle for quincy to gnaw on. we had lunch at an organic/healthy type cafe called Atomic - very yummy - and they had a sandbox with sandtoys and a chalkboard on wall next to it. a huge hit with aidan. he was too busy to bother with much lunch. then we wandered through a park and found another playground! i will take pete back to this one - it looks like it would really appeal to older kids as it has some long winding slides down the hill - and a mellow zipline that i really enjoyed riding.

for dinner we went back to Toto - our italian restaurant recommended to us our 1st night here. i have since read that it is considered finest italian restaurant in city. it is very modest in size but i am very impressed with food. we had 2 entrees, bruscetta to start, a salad, a juice, a glass of wine, and desert & cappucino - all for about $40. the kids were being squirmy so pete took them away when we had mostly finished with the entrees. i kicked back and ordered some tiramisu (came complete with chocolate covered espresso beans and milk & white striped chocolate shaving curls on top) and a flat white - pretty much a cappucino as far as i can tell. i had far fetched hopes of finding the boys asleep in bed when i returned - alas it was only a pipe dream.

this morning when i was putting quincy down for a nap aidan took himself off to the toilet and did a poop all by himself and told me afterwards (and showed me). his little seat wasn't even on the potty so he must have just balanced on the edge of the rim. i was impressed! when we are home he now uses potty whenever he needs to go. (i also encourage this behavior by having him run around naked!).

quincy did have a better nite sleep after tooth #2 was in but was up again about hourly last night. i am looking forward to having more than one bedroom again so i can let either kid cry a bit without worrying about the other - altho they both do a pretty god job of ignoring each other.

today i took aidan on a walk down thru sort of the main shopping area where i bought a pair of black jeans for about $10 - i think they will shrivel up if they ever end up in the dryer - but hey, the price was right! we had lunch on a patio by the ferry boats. i think in a day or so we'll ferry over to devonport for the day. i had both kids home and in bed by 2. quincy was up at 3 but aidan had to be woken at 5.15! needless to say he had been missing some sleep. they do good potato wedges here like australia - but here have the bad habit of topping them with mayonaise! and of course i forget to request it without. we had some for lunch. i also had some pasta with chicken and pumpkin - i have seen pumpkin on alot of menus here - in the store it is a green skinned squash with bright orange flesh. tasty. it is interesting to be heading into winter and see the return (for me) of autumn ingredients. the big grocery store does stock a variety of organic things - altho not the same ones we see at home. we have organic cherry tomatos, bread and hazelnuts here in our room that we bought. we like to drink apple/feijoi (sp?) juice - i wonder what the feijoi looks like.

after pete got home we cabbed it over to look at a partially furnished house - we need fully furnished. otherwise it was a nifty house. small bedrooms but nice downstairs open floor and the back doors/windows could all be retracted to fully open the wall to the back small garden. it had a heated mirror in bathroom so that you never have to worry about them getting steamy when showering. but everyone uses front load washers & dryers here - and they take all day to do only a few clothes. we hope to have resolved the living issue by this weekend. i just discovered today that there is no Target here - i expected to find one based on my Brisbane experience. it will take a while to figure out where to go for various items. in some ways this is a small town and certain things seem a bit hard to find. i was happy to finally see a childrens store of any kind - and it was next to a kiddie shoe store. i do have need of a few shirts for quincy - i went on quite a spree when i first started using the washer/dryers here - we have some funky looking clothes! pete bore the brunt of the pink load... too bad i don't always have matching socks in the same load either - my new gray sock might have been ok if it didn't have a white mate!

and sara - i am reminded quite a bit of england here. we are having lots of cadbury's chocolate - drinking, covering nuts & plain. i haven't tried the ice cream yet. the books i bought refer to things like the hood of the car as the bonnet etc. strollers are pushchairs which is new to me. (they were prams in australia). aidan strolled out in short sleeves today and the porter asked where his jumper was (sweater). i think the term for the bill at a restaurant is account - could you organize the account for me please? they like to "organize" things i've found. pete and i still haven't figured out what "ensuite" means (used in adds for rental houses) - any ideas? many are also listed as including "whiteware" which i took to be dishes but pete tells me means appliances. our hotel room dishwasher is one of those drawer size ones - and the room upstairs had 2 stacked. i have always liked that idea so that you can run small loads.

houses don't seem that different from the US here (from the outside). rather eclectic in general. i like that all the outlets have little switches by they so that they are not hot/live unless you want them to be). ginette asked for my observations re brisbane architecture. their houses definitely seemed tropical - were often built off the ground, had lattice wood work below, had low lines, had corregated metal roofs. i have seen a few houses here with corregated metal roofs too. previously i had only seen that on slums / in rural mexico. here it can be on quite upscale houses. the architecture of auckland is not particularly exciting. there are a few nice buildings and a few more historic buildings but in general it is quite a hodge podge. the city is not nearly as dense as san francisco either in the immediate downtown or in the inner suburbs. they haven't used their space to create civic space like brisbane though unfortunately - we would enjoy a few more parks with birds to chase...

well, i am off to join the boys in bed. oh yeah - aidan has decided that he likes to sleep in the co-sleeper crib that we brought along for quincy - he often naps there or starts his nights there. i told him it used to belong to thomas which may have something to do with it. i also remind him that thomas would be very unhappy if it was broken when he decides to use it to jump onto the bed immitating a frog. his head and toes touch so he is much too big for it. the hotel provided us with the same size playpen as a crib - we put the mattress (very soft) on floor for him. he often comes creaping up into our bed in the wee hours when he realizes where he is. we will have fun getting everyone sorted out sleepwise in september. at least he is going to bed again without us laying down next to him!

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