Sunday, June 09, 2002

I continue to be amazed at how poorly they mark roads over here. Good news is that they denote every intersection that has a stop light or round-a-bout on their maps so you can track that way. Also good for those who are inclined to rolling stops (my husband?!) is the preponderance of “give way” instead of stop signs – just slow and go. Also heavy use of round-a-bouts instead of traffic lights.

Quincy continues to be extremely grabby – especially at meal time. Nothing is safe! Even when you give him something to naw on he continues the occasional foray onto the table with the quick fist. And of course everything must go into his mouth for exploration. Aidan is sometimes a bit bothered by it especially when it is inadvertently Aidan’s toy. Yesterday Quincy was giving me big laughs – we spent quite a while laughing at/to each other. Fun. I am also giving him some sitting practice. With Aidan we had a “boppy” to use that mostly surrounded him and gave him support. With Quincy I wrap my legs in a circle around him for him to fall back upon. He is pretty strong but still only balances for very very short times on his own. I thought we had left the pterydactyl cries behind us – but he resurrected them in force today. Pete compared them to dolphin’s cries – an apt description.

Finally made it to the YMCA. There are actually quite a few in Auckland and they all have various things to offer. Our “local” one seems to be mostly pool oriented. There is a big lap pool, smaller play and class pool and a little toddlers pool. They have a very extensive selection of swim classes for the kids – including 3:1 kid teacher ratio starting at age 2 ½. So Aidan is signed up to start this week. He says he wants to do it but he is a bit water timid so will be interesting to see how it goes. There are only a few more lessons this session before winter break so we quit if he doesn’t like them. I (they) am not sure yet if my Y membership will get me in for free (it should) but pool use is only $2US and aerobics & classes only $3.50 so not bad. They have a large “crèche” – about 3 or 4 times the size of ours back home (not that that is much of a comparison as it is woefully inadequate) and it opens onto an outside play area. They had an arts & crafts table going on when we visited and Aidan was eager to stay and play (although with the toys not the art). Bad news is that it is only open in the mornings! And of course none of the yoga offerings are in the a.m. I went to yoga today (Sunday) while Pete took the kids down to a beach. Aidan came back muddy but happy – with another stick of course. It felt good to take yoga again. I am always interested how in a few regards I am extremely flexible – sometimes the most in that posture, and in other ways how incredibly inflexible I am. The human bodies are interesting things.

After checking out the Y on Friday we headed back to the large mall. Aidan had a hankering for a milkshake – and it has been close to a month since he had one. We found a gelato place that made them (normally they are called thickshakes here as milkshakes often just have whipped milk and flavoring). So far the ice cream continues to disappoint in this country (I remember the same thing in England). I picked up a sharp knife to use cooking while Aidan charmed the clerks. We went into their large bookstore – equivalent to a Barnes & Noble or Borders – with café etc. This one had a “kids zone” with toys to play with and trains etc. A lot of stores here have a pen that has toys in it that you can place your kid in while shopping. There are no gates so the kids stay put til you haul them back out. They had one here but it wasn’t near anything I wanted to look at so seemed a bit useless to me although not to Aidan. They also had little tables set up with stuff to color etc. Aidan was wearing underwear – he insists on it quite a bit these days. He told me he needed to go pee. We went. I didn’t ask him (as I had for the last 8 or so visits) if he needed to poop. Went back out and pretty soon I realize he is grunting in that way. Yep, poop in the pants. At least no pee to go with it so I didn’t have to change the trousers. I am not sure quite how to handle it – books say not to punish them, but he is fully aware of what he is doing at this point. This wasn’t an accident. The next day at home I saw him head into the grunting and asked him if he was pooping – he denied it in a way that was clear he was – so I whisked him off to the toilet where he preformed beautifully. If we can get this poop thing taken care of he will pretty much be done except for accidents. He is even dry 5 or 6 nights out of 7 now surprisingly.

That night we met Daddy at a Thai place John & Janell highly recommended, Sawadee. Really really good. Impeccable service. We’ll be back. When I asked Aidan if he wanted to go to a restaurant (answer is almost always yes) he asked if we would be going to the tower. He really wants to eat there at the Sky Tower (you see it in any postcard of the skyline). I told him that we were waiting for Nanma to arrive before we went. After dinner we hurried home for the finale of Survivor – they were running a bit behind here!

Saturday was a fairly typical Saturday I would say. Pete took the kids for story time at the library followed by playground and beach time while I saw the masseuse ($12ish for 30 min!) and we met up afterwards at a café. Later on I decided to walk back and sign up at our video store. I clocked it at 7 minutes for a leisurely stroll sans kids to the village. Nice. I had to return home for passport and proof of residence though. I figured they would get a credit card imprint and be happy, but no. New releases cost $8NZ which just seems so high but isn’t much more than back home –and there are lots of “deals” where you rent multiples for less. Not that we can watch much TV. They also gave me joining bonus where I get free video with each rental for a month. I returned with family in tow and we then headed to the beach for a few minutes and onto a pub. We both ordered hamburgers – and they came with eggs on top! We were a bit surprised.

Aidan was telling us or asking us about numbers on the mailboxes on the walk again. 14B – “1 and 4 and B” “yes Aidan, a 1 and a 4 makes 14”. Pete was walking close to the edge of the sidewalk on our way home – Aidan got quite agitated “you gotta be careful daddy!” so he wouldn’t fall in the road and be hit by a car. Wonder where he learned that?! Things I tell him get recycled. At least I know he is listening! He also told me all about how earlier a car didn’t stop for them in the zebra crossing (pedestrian way) and daddy had to yell to get the driver’s attention.

Today we mostly just mucked about. Pete was only able to check off haircut on his errand list on Saturday and most things are closed Sunday so he didn’t get any further. I got yoga checked off. We did a late afternoon walk around a neighborhood – we were disappointed with it. Otherwise the book has been very good at walking recommendations. I think this may be the first day I didn’t have a single item at a café or restaurant since we’ve been here!

I may not get a lot of computer time this week. Pete was up til 4 a.m. last night working (he started 8 p.m.ish?) so I imagine he will need the computer other nights too. And he heads back to Brisbane Wednesday returning Friday – and will I am sure have his computer with him. Not sure what I’ll be up to with the kids. Our schedule is actually fairly full on Wednesdays and Thursday mornings. I am looking for Monday and Friday activities (maybe I should head to the Y and go swimming while the kids are in the crèche!).

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