Friday, June 29, 2012


I almost didn't make a post this week, but I just couldn't skip it. Last weekend I went out for my first time to the CBD for some drinks with a group of friends in honor of a fellow au pair going home. It was an enjoyable time; however, I am just not really into staying out late, going to bars, or drinking with strangers- seriously I think having children has aged me.
  This is the third night this week I am babysitting and am relishing in my time alone at home (with sleeping kids). Cooking has become a regular challenge and enjoyment for me, especially when its just for me and stress free. This is a complete reversal from six months ago, though only one of many changes so far. 
  On Tuesday I donated blood, for the second time here. Although it made me feel a bit under the weather for a few days, I am glad I have been able to continue donating since being here. What an amazing thing to be able to do. 
  I suppose the only other news of interest this week is that Mia started rolling over from her tummy to her back (to the right side) today! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend in Windy Welly

Wellington viewed from
Botanic Gardens
Most infants are not the best airplane passengers. Even as a "kid person" my heart still sinks a little when I am about to get on a long flight and see that there are heaps of infants and toddlers boarding with me. Thank goodness Mia isn't one of those babies that ruins flights. She did amazingly well on both of our flights to and from Wellington.
Mackay was dropped off at his grandparents on the North Shore right before Mia, Andrea, and I went to the airport Saturday morning. The flight only takes about an hour, but would be about 8 hours to make the 400 miles by car ( or 12 hrs by train). The weather was actually quite chilly - rain, a bit of hail, and wind- when we arrived. Andrea had a work expo to do on Sunday so Mia and I hung out in the hotel staying warm and watch the All Blacks on one channel and the Warriors on the other!
Saturday I was able to take the morning to adventure as Andrea's parents drove down to spend some time with their granddaughter.
WWII War Memorial
Taking wandering walks around a new city is seriously a fantastic way to "meet" the city- the architecture, people, food, weather, ect. so I grab a coffee (Wellingon takes coffee seriously) and some breaky and meandered up the hill to the botanic gardens and observatory. The gardens are beautiful and have tons of walking trails to explore the vegetation and see the city from above. Since I had already put in a few kilometers, I rode the famous Cable Cars down the hill and back to the CBD. Wellington is compact. I was able to do some window shopping down Lambton Quay and see the parliment buildings and return to the hotel all in under four hours.
The Beehive -
After wrapping Mia up and popping her in the pram we walked over to the expo and then to Te Papa, the national museum. I was able to glance around levels one, two, and three before Mia totally lost the plot and I had to leave the museum with haste. We left again Monday morning and a return trip to see the rest of Te Papa and the rest of Wellington is already in the works.

Our routine is starting to get back to normal this week though we are all in need of another weekend to recover from last weekend, but we'll just have to wait a few more days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nothing Flash

A beach at the base of the trail
Nothing all that flash happened last week, which was just fine with me, though some how I am still longing for a bit of R and R one of these days. I went hiking again in Waitakare on Saturday. We of course got "lost" or this time more displaced driving there and at one point the trail just kind of disappeared and we had to turn around, much to our dismay. The trail was difficult in the sense that it was incredibly muddy so much that I have officially redefined "what mud means to me," and the places that weren't ankle deep in mud were slippery and vine/root covered. All in all it was many, many hours of my life in which I desperately struggled to fall on my butt.
Mud, a lot of mud
We barely made it home in time to watch the All Blacks beat Ireland and walk down to Malt for a drink before bed. Sunday I was feeling a bit under the weather and so attempted to have a low key day. This was a partial success as I was able to be in my sweat pants most of the day, but still did a significant amount of cleaning and laundry.
In an attempt to add some variety and intellectual stimulation I have started doing my own research projects on viticulture and teaching English abroad for no other reason that to continue to broaden my horizons. So far these experiments haven't developed significantly, but will as soon as I find some time and energy to put into them, whenever that may be.
Vantage point from part way up the hike
For just the quickest of trips, Andrea, Mia and I are heading to Wellington this weekend. Andrea has a work conference so I will be helping with Mia while she is working but will get to wander around Saturday and Sunday with a return on Monday.

I am constantly shocked at how fast the time is going here. The future could hold just about anything and yet I feel like I could wait a little longer to find out what that is.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the Queen's Birthday and Moo's too

Things have been noisy, busy and a bit precious this past week or so and I am feeling a bit worn, but in a mostly good way. I babysat Friday, which is becoming one of my favorite things to do on a weekend night as it is the only time I ever have a chance to make myself a nice meal, sit down and watch a movie - as both kids are a sleep by 7pm. I so rarely give myself permission to just sit down and relax, and there isn't really much else to do on a Friday night when you are "stuck" at home with kids.
Saturday I returned to conquer that trail I lost last week. We tacked on another track to it and spent about 3 1/2 hours hiking about 15km through some beautiful forested brush of Waitakare. We then went out for mussels and a few beers at the Belgium Beer Cafe in Mission Bay. There's nothing quite like a great beer after a long day out hiking.
The Auckland Warriors were beaten by the Melbourne Storm on Sunday which was disappointing, but still a fabulous game for me to accompany Andrew and Mackay to. We had incredible seats and feed some delicious food as we were in the cooperate box seating. There was really no better way to get me into liking League, but I am not a convert fro Union, yet.
It was the Queen's Birthday weekend (its her Diamond Jubilee this year too), so there was a three-day weekend here in the Commonwealth. Mackay's birthday (2!)was on Tuesday so Monday was a perfect day to have all the extended family over for a celebration. Andrea made this incredible Thomas the Tank Engine cake and we stuffed ourselves with chicken nibbles, sausage rolls, and other New Zealand classic party snacks.

Its the beginning of Winter
With relatives coming and going and hyped up kiddo this week I will be happy to have a somewhat relaxed weekend this as I am headed to Wellington at the end of next week.