Saturday, June 01, 2002

It has been a while since I have 1) had computer access and 2) time. Pete had to head in the office (with Aidan thrown in car in p.j.s) at 7.15 one morning and returned home around 10.45 p.m. after a dinner with the team. A long day for us all! I think that was Wednesday – the boys (little ones that is) and I had our first “playdate”. We had met mom Liza with 2 ¼ yr old Jordan and 8 month Samuel at Mecca Café one day at Mission Beach Park/Playground. She was kind enough to invite us to play at her new house over in Devonport. (where we went on ferry previously). She also had over a friend Fiona and her 3 yr old Conner. Fiona had lived in S.F. for 3 years a few years back. We had a very nice time. Aidan enjoyed playing with Jordan’s toys – esp a Thomas train and a digger truck. At one point Jordan wanted his digger back (he isn’t nearly as verbal as Aidan). He was told that he could have it after Aidan went home. He disappeared – shortly to return with Aidan’s boots in hand! There are ways to get your point across without words! His mom didn’t get it at first but I thought it very funny and Aidan totally ignored it even when the boots crept onto his lunch plate.

Quincy blessed me with a night of 2 5 hour stretches of sleep. Unfortunately that was followed by a screaming (very unusual) night of hourly wakings. Turns out he had a mild fever similar to the one Aidan had on the weekend – in that it seemed to last only for a day (and it was a very cranky/clingly day too). He has at best done 3 hours sleep at a time since then and not consistently. At least he is back to being pretty good about staying in his crib. So I am a bit tired.

We checked out our local Dingle Dell Reserve just a bit just before dark the other day. There were plenty of sticks for Aidan to collect and a tiny (but steep) bridge at the entrance to make him happy. I think he returned with Pete today. There are public toilets near the entrance – have to say this town really has the toilet coverage down. I am very appreciative since I have a tiny bladder potty training little boy in tow. There are the toilets in the park, ones at the local community center, ones at the beach in 2 places – and many more continuing down the beach toward the city. We usually use ones at cafes we are frequenting, but it is nice to know they are available.

Our little town of St Heliers is better than I expected/realized. There are probably at least a dozen places to eat, 2 travel centers, 3 banks, 2 or 3 bakeries, a butchers, a fruit/veggie place, 2 chemists, a small grocery, a mall! (11 small shops), 2 bookstores, a hardware store, a toy store, a kids clothing store, several men & women boutiques, a nice library, a post office, a lawn bowling club, a Plunket (more about that). Even a BP gas station and maybe a Shell one. All in about 3 blocks. Oh yeah – videos and drycleaner too.

Friday (yesterday) we walked down to check things out more thoroughly. We clocked it today at 7/10 of a kilometer for what that is worth. It was a pretty easy walk and flat except for the driveway to get up to our little row of 4 houses. Aidan entertained us by telling us what the numbers were on mailboxes – fortunately as we got closer to town there were some apartment buildings with as many as 9 numbers. It was a gorgeous day – sunny and warm. I had to strip down to my T-shirt for lunch out on the café deck and even got a bit of pink in my face. A bit of rain did appear while we were eating (we take a long time). No one seemed to have any umbrellas or raingear nor stop for the rain. And that seems typical. Pete comments he is the only one he knows who carries an umbrella. They all just seem to ignore it. Found a café we really liked and returned for brunch this morning. I even had the same thing (smoked chicken in ricotta in filo roll on green salad with pineapple/mango chutney – which I have become very fond of) Aidan requested “chicken” both times. A couple of older women commented when we left at how delightful my boys were and how amazed they were that I would go out alone with 2 that age. I figure practice makes perfect! Aidan has had a lot of lunch out practice… At first I was deciding that I lived in a somewhat geriatric community judging by the foot traffic. But the women with “pushchairs” (strollers) were out a bit later. I guess you see the people who don’t go to work during the day on a weekday – and guess who that is.

After lunch we decided to find Plunket. It is an organization that has many community branches. They are staffed with a nurse (I was told I should register with my local Plunket nurse) you can see at Clinic or schedule home visit. So you can see a nurse for help instead of paying and going to Dr. Not bad. Turns out it was a little building with a little playyard out back – and there was a mom’s group going on. 4 year olds I was told although Aidan fit in fine – and there were several babies too. Apparently there will be playgroups for both Aidan and Quincy’s ages for me to check out but the schedule was missing. I’ll check back next week. I left a message later for the nurse too – I’d like to get the name of a Dr etc. They have puzzle library Thursday mornings which we’ll be sure to check out. We could also join a toy library/exchange but I don’t think it would be worth it for cost and timeframe – I understand you get on waiting list for certain items – wouldn’t do us much good!

So all round a good exploring day. And naps all round to finish off. Pete has been taking the bus home a few nights a week. It takes a while – about 20 min to get here on bus but a bit of a long walk (15 min) on his office side – but all downhill to the Quay. He actually has a choice of 2 different lines to choose from although has only ridden on one so far.

Today was probably the worse weather day we have had. Rainy most of the day, no sun at all and cool. This country is known at the country of the long white cloud. I was beginning to think it could also be called the land of the rainbow as I have seen at least one most days – but not today. This afternoon after 4 we headed off to find Botany Town Centre which I believed to have a number of stores (Pete wanted some new clothes, me ditto). Once we found it (roads are exceedingly poorly marked – almost never is the road you are on posted) it turned out to be a huge collection of mall and also big stores. Much better than that other mall we had been directed to. Of course stores closed at 5.30 so we had about an hour. Aidan fell asleep shortly after leaving home and only woke when put back into the car to go home!

Tomorrow we may set off and do a drive / sightseeing if the weather is a bit better. Kind of squandering our 3 day weekend (Queen’s birthday you know) but it is nice to settle in a bit and get our bearings. I feel pretty comfortable with the area but Pete hasn’t seen that much of it and we both could use some computer time doing mundane things like bills.

Pete has taken to calling Aidan a vampire. For a bit now he has objected to the sun – esp while in car – the sun, it hurts! (Of course my Mom asked me if I knew who that sounded like – yours truly as a child). But he also has decided he doesn’t want to see his reflection in the glass – and we have a lot of it in this house. They also have yards and yards (or meters and meters) of curtains which we try to close at night to keep in the heat (and eliminate reflections!). Last night Aidan caught sight of himself in the TV and wanted us to make it go away! We explained that we were NOT moving the TV – he could just look the other way.

I don’t remember if I have said much about the house. It is nice. Phyllis will be coming in 3 weeks and will stay with us for the duration. Dave will join in at some point too. It should be much more comfortable than having guests back in S.F. Oh yeah - Phyllis, if you read this you don't need to bring an umbrella. We brought 2 with us. I bought a small one (fits in purse) (Pete was envious when he saw it today) at purse store a few days back. We picked up a golf sized one in St Heliers today for about $7US - we couldn't pass it up at that price. And I bought Aidan a small one as I left his at home - bad mommy. So we have more umbrellas currently than people!

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