Thursday, March 31, 2011

HKG033: Buzzer 101

day 33 was a blur of errands and deliveries...same story different day when it comes to the kids and naps and such. today's big lesson was about the intercom in our apartment. you see, we get an intercom call when there's a delivery. when i answer it, i say "okay, thank you", and presto whamo, someone shows up at our door with something.

last night, i ordered indian take away for dinner. the food showed up exactly on time, and a nice gentleman rang up and announced the delivery. i said "okay, thank you" and hung up. a minute later, the intercom phone rang again, and a tired and exasperated but polite voice requested "unlock the door, please, madam." oops...all this time, i have been leaving the delivery person locked on the other side of the lobby door having to wait for apartment personnel to open the lobby door. i have encountered some very patient people. after this incident prompted me to more closely inspect our intercom phone, i noticed that there is a button at the very top to the right with the word "unlock" it. in my own defense, the phone is monochromatic, and neither the button nor the text on it stands out.

i am quite embarrassed at my mistake, but got a good laugh at myself, too.

p.s. taz, the butter chicken we got did not even come close to the level of deliciousness yours has.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HKG032: First Playdate

i asked quinn to gently wake sissy this morning. i followed him to her room to find him cuddling with her.

the kids think the sectional is a playground. here, quinn has managed to get himself stuck under it. there was furniture on one side and a wall on the other, so he literally couldn't get out. i have no idea how he got under there in the first place...i was working on laundry when i heard the call for help.

happily scooting bug

sliding bug

climbing quinn

this is the kids' dinner tonight : rice, spam, chicken tender, and carrots. it was going to be chicken, rice, and carrots, but the bug specifically requested the spam. ewww.

i belong to a recipe message board from which i get great ideas. today, someone posted and reviewed a recipe for risotto that got my mouth watering. i haven't unpacked the oven yet, so i couldn't make a REAL risotto, but i got as close as i could. using the rice left from making the kids' dinner, some chopped choy sum, garlic, the oil left from cooking their chicken, ricotta, mozerella, and hungarian salami, i came up with a concoction that looked strange but was REALLY good. i had two plates of it. i don't think i could have convinced anyone else to eat it, because of how it looked, but it was really tasty.

this is the end result...not pretty, but trust me, it tasted much better than it looks!

this is not a great pic, but it's the general idea of what our skyline looks like at night.

today, the kids and i had our first actual planned playdate. it wasn't just a random encounter in a was a real, live playdate! wooo hooo!

the kids had a great time, especially livie, and i was glad to get the opportunity to talk to a few other expat moms. i, again, got some great advice. we even had the opportunity to look at a school for livie thanks to the kindness of these women. i really liked what i saw, and we will be putting in application this week there and at one other school.

the playdate was quite an adventure and ran right into lunch and nap time so we didn't do much else this morning. quinn, once again, boycotted his nap. he also, once again, passed out cold as soon as his bottom hit the seat in the shuttle when we headed out for errands this afternoon. it is really HARD to move a 35-pound 38-inch tall sleeping child. and a stroller. and keep track of another child. and we did all that for what, you ask? to go to the bank to take care of some financial stuff (as one does at a bank). was it a success, you ask? nope. big, fat FAIL. why? because the bank lobby closed at 4:30 p.m. in the bustling metropolis of the central district in hong kong (home to 7 million people), the bank hours are from 9:30 to 4:30 for four out of five of the work days. is that not INSANE?!? so, back to the bank we go tomorrow morning.

tomorrow afternoon, the rest of our furniture will arrive. this is pretty darn exciting, but also will be quite difficult since josh won't be home from GZ until several hours after the furniture arrives. i will have to get the monkeys out of the apartment to keep them from climbing all over the pieces and parts.

in other news, my 3-function oven arrived today (it's a microwave, convection, and toaster oven all in one. it's made by kenwood and looks like a lot of fun). i am STOKED. i don't know what i will make first. i know the kids and i will be making some cookies this weekend. woooooooooo hoooooooooooo!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

HKG031: A Proclamation by Livie

this is our brand new, very own water hotter. isn't he cute? i am thrilled to have boiling water on the stove and trying to pour it into a relatively small coffee cup without incident.

bug asked me to take her picture. good lord, she's cute!

livie took this picture of us together while we were snuggling on the couch.

self portrait in motion

today was a day of discovery. before the discovery, though, was some absolute insanity borne of my having not changed my computer clock to reflect local still shows texas time.

i called two different doc offices to schedule an appt. for livie this morning. the first office hung up on me as soon as i began speaking. the second office was much more helpful and scheduled an appointment. the proposed appointment time was 11:30. my computer clock read 9:30 when i agreed to the appointment time. perfect...plenty of time to get ready and get down there with time to spare. well. no. not when it was actually 10:30 a.m. here and the 9:30 was p.m. in texas. after putzing around for a half hour before realizing my mistake with the clock, we made it by the skin of our teeth...this included dragging both kids out the door as fast as possible, racing to the wellcome to get cash, hurrying up a hill to stand somewhere visible to flag a taxi, flagging at least three taxis before one finally stopped, and then sitting in a bit of traffic. even with all of this, we walked into the office only 7 minutes past our appointment time. we left the apartment at about 12 minutes after see how fast all this craziness occurred?!

livie's appointment was a breeze...a little too easy, actually. i am not sure if i love socialized medicine or am suspicious of it. after a brief interview, the doc prescribed livie some pee in a cup (poor kid was overflowing with the 15 oz of apple juice i had her chug on the way over in the taxi), but he did take her temp, palpate her tummy, and thump on her back. it just felt too easy. the easiest part was the prescription...we didn't have to go anywhere. it was filled for us right there in the dr.'s office. that ROCKED.

after the appointment, i took us to mcd's for lunch. that was insane. INSANE. the place was super crowded. we had to shove our way through the crowd and ended up sharing a table with an unsuspecting expat. it turned out to be a good thing, because i began talking with this young woman and found out that she also is new in country and is having some of the same struggles we are. it was nice to not feel alone in some of our difficulties, but it was also a little bit sad to see someone else having the same struggles.

we caught the shuttle home, q actually took a real nap in his room and mostly on his bed, and we had a splendid afternoon hangin' out at the house watching playhouse disney in chinese (we saw angelina ballerina in chinese today and we saw the mickey mouse clubhouse in chinese). we also went to the park and played for almost 2 hours.

the proclamation of the day came from my bug. she was working on these parallel bars, trying to climb up them in a bear crawl like she saw a couple other girls do, and she had a couple of tough falls. being the dork that i am, i decided to give her a live demonstration. 30 seconds into said demonstration, livie loudly proclaimed "mom, you are being really weird right now!!!" bwahahahahahaha...little does my daughter know that i gave up on dignity long ago and will now live for embarrassing her :-) okay. not really, but this incident was kinda fun!

later on at the park, livie made a friend around her age, and i got a chance to talk to the girl's expat from australia. she had a lot of wisdom to share, and i thoroughly enjoyed talking to her. she commiserated with our struggles, told me she had the same struggles at first, and gave me great advice on how to make things easier/better for all of us.

tonight's been pretty low key...simple dinner, some play, bath, and bed. thor and i have been working hard on our relationship, and together we are nearly done with the gigantic backlog of laundry we moved here with. i have nailed down a pretty good system of using the most efficient wash cycle and combining line drying with a shorter machine dry cycle. this has worked great b/c it has not rained for a few days. i will have to develop a new plan for rainy days....i am eyeballing all the places around the apartment that can act as clothes lines :-)

i'm livin' on the edge here...i bet you envy my jet setting life of making and getting to doctor appointments, surviving mcdonald's, giving climbing demonstrations, and laundry planning, dontcha ;-p

Monday, March 28, 2011

HKG030: Culinary Cultural Revolution

quinn was so tired from boycotting naps for two days that he couldn't muster the energy to play with his trains sitting up.

the bug had a lot of fun on this part of the she's up....

and here she's down

i don't know what taro is, but taro-flavored wafer cookies are GOOD!

this is how many items thor can handle at one time. and this is only if they are light cotton. if the items are made from a heavier material, such as denim, thor can handle no more than 3 items. thor and i are still not seeing eye-to-eye, but we are in negotiations.

this was the state of our fridge for dinner tonight. blueberries, grapes, ricotta cheese, and some condiments. and thus the reason for tonight's cultural revolution (not pictured is the pizza box and polish sausage i had already removed).

culinary cultural revolution in progress. it turned out surprisingly good!

steamed pizza. this looks really gross to me, but the kids hoovered it right up!

olivia using the vacuum hose as a microphone pumped right into her own ear

the kids had a blast unpacking the boxes that were delivered from fortress today. fortress is a local electronics store where we got some household items this past weekend. who would have thought two kids would be so excited to see a vacuum cleaner and an iron ;-p

today was a combination of slow and crazy. we took it easy this morning and didn't even make it out to the park until almost 10:45. we hung out there for an hour or so until quinn looked like he wouldn't stay awake another second. we headed home for lunch and a nap. along the way, we met the most soft and cuddly chow-chow i've ever met. she was cream colored rather than red or black, and she was super sweet and tolerant of all of us. her name sounded like loh-gee. i hope we see her again...petting her gave me a tiny bit of the fur-baby fix i have been needing. i miss our fur babies so much i can barely stand it.

anyhoo, so we come home for lunch and a nap and everything's going fine until nap time. quinn boycotted his nap. we changed nap to quiet time, which allowed me to tinker with my computer and get some laundry done. you see, thor (the washer/drier thingy) and i have begun trying to repair our relationship. i try to ignore the fact that it takes him 5x as long to do a quarter as much work as our laundry machines at home, and he tries not to hold it against me. i'm getting way deep here, i know.

so, after some quiet time, tinkering (internet connectivity issues), and laundry, the kids and i hop on the apartment shuttle to head into central so i can find the main post office and pick up a package from my dad (quinn passed out cold less than 10 seconds after the shuttle started moving). i failed to plan this very well. you know, not having a smart phone is cramping my style. we walked around until we found a road called connaught. that took more than an hour (no smart phone to let me google map myself silly), and then we walked around some more looking for a street called connaught place. along the way we were bumped, jostled, shoved, and glared at. you see, by the time we left the apartment, it was nearly the end of the work day. and it was crowded. one young woman shoved herself in front of us, and then turned and glared at me when i accidentally caught her heel with the stroller. um. that prolly wouldn't have happened if she did not shove right in front of us...i guess i was supposed to stop and give way.

fortunately, i was able to remember our way back to where the shuttle dropped us off, and we were able to catch a shuttle back to the apartment. this saves us so many headaches. using the shuttle lets us avoid the crowded city buses and the frustration of trying to flag a taxi and/or the expense of paying for one.

by the time we got home, it was past dinner time and there was no time to stop at the wellcome. as a result, i created quite the culinary cultural revolution using polish sausage, soba noodles, onions, garlic, sesame oil, and cantonese marinade for me and josh. the kids had spam, leftover noodles, and steamed leftover pizza. i steamed the pizza b/c i could not think of a better way to reheat pizza without a microwave or oven.

tomorrow promises to be quite adventurous as we try to find a pediatrician and get an appointment. based on some complaints she's made, i think livie's got a UTI. wish us luck.

oh, and the computer woes are due to my computer having an outdated network adapter that is using an old communication protocol, which is not compatible with the wireless modem we got with our new cable service. i will not be able to skype until we get this situation resolved (i can maintain an internet connection for only a minute or two at a time most of the time). since i am single parenting most of the rest of the week (and we have to leave the country on friday (longer story about visas later)), i will not be able to resolve this issue until the weekend at the earliest. this makes me SAD. very sad. there will be some burning skype lines next week when i can get back in touch with folks far away.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

HKW04: Random Observations for our 4th Week

  1. surgical masks -- people wear them to keep their germs in. i have seen school kids in uniform and wearing masks. josh says dr. offices have signs saying that if you have a cough or runny nose to wear a mask.
  2. ticker -- the public buses in hong kong are from one company, and they all have tickers inside just above the driver's seat. only bus 1 has ever had a working ticker. bus 1 is the first bus i took here, and because it had a ticker that helped me find my stop, i assumed all city buses would have the same benefit. nope. all other buses i have ridden have tickers, but they just say welcome in english and in chinese.
  3. humidity -- it is SO humid here, that when the kids drop a cheerio and i don't pick it up right away, i later find it all puffy and soft and soggy. from the air. my god!
  4. laundry -- i am a laundry slouch. i admit it. i am inept at laundry. i do not separate colors unless we have a new item i know will bleed or a red item. i rarely get our stuff dry cleaned. i rarely use a temp other than warm. even with all these things against me, i can get our clothes clean. here? where we send our laundry out? NOTSOMUCH. our laundry keeps coming back stinky, stiff, and STAINED. i pulled a sweater out of my drawer this morning...i have worn it a couple times and had it washed at least once. it stinks. like i've been sleeping in it for days or like i just pulled it out of the laundry hamper after letting it sit a few days. two items of the kids' clothes have mysterious oil stains on maybe they got washed with chapstick. i am NOT impressed and can't wait to screw up my own laundry when we move out of the closet.
  5. hanging clothes to dry -- i hand washed some stuff of the kids b/c they got chocolate gelato all over the stuff, and i knew if i just tossed it in the laundry bag and waited a couple days to take it in that those stains had no chance of ever coming out. instead, i had wet laundry on our 2 foot by 2 foot balcony. for two days. it took two days to dry...and those were days that were mostly sunny. wow. how do folks hang their clothes to dry they have 2 or 3 wardobes so that they don't have to run around naked during the two days it takes clothes to dry?!?!?
  6. step up...all business have a step up into them. the only place i have found a wheelchair ramp is at the library/activities building. i asked another expat if he knew why, and he said it probably had something to do with feng shui and/or the fact that it rains pretty crazy here for a period of months (prevent flood damage).
  7. 220 volts...a couple weeks ago, quinn decided to test out the 220 voltage by removing the ac adapter from his noise machine (while it was still plugged into the wall) and putting it in his mouth. there was a lot of sad baby for a few minutes followed by a stern discussion on why we DON'T unplug things and especially don't unplug them and then put them in our mouths!!
  8. bamboo...have seen many, many bamboo scaffolds on constructions sites everywhere. i knew bamboo was strong, but i did not know it was that strong!
  9. combined washer-drier units SUCK!! it looks like i will have to revise item number 4 or at least deal with it.
  10. our son has an incredible pain tolerance. he bit what looks like a hole through the middle of his tongue today. he spewed blood for a few minutes, finished crying, and went about his day. the only other time he indicated that he was in pain was when he ate a salty snack.
  11. while the storefronts here are beautiful, we are having trouble finding convenient ways to get general household items. we looked around the central area for a couple hours the other night trying to find a place to buy towels and a blanket...nothing doing. we found jewelry, bags, shoes, clothes, and makeup/perfume, but no household products. fortunately, there is a store just down the road from our new apartment called japan home, and it has almost everything we need to set up the just wasn't where we were the other night :-)
  12. finding some babyproofing items is nearly impossible here. i have found many alarms for doors and windows and about a hundred different types of door pinch guards, but i have not found door knob covers to keep the q from opening doors he should the front door. did i mention that he knows how to work the elevator and to press G to get downstairs??
  13. it is impossible to find dayquil/nyquil here. we have had to just hope for the best when buying adult cold medicine, and we haven't had much luck. and it's super expensive. and it's not safety sealed. the 8 pills, which cost about 8 dollars USD come in a really wimpy blister pack that is likely to burst open just from being dropped. we are very careful to store our cold meds very high up.
  14. living in a high-rise apartment building is a unique experience. i've only ever lived in walk-up apartments, and trying to figure out where to take our trash and recycle was interesting (turned out to be incredibly easy that i feel like i am getting away with something...much easier than hauling trash out to a dumpster that is a quarter mile from your apartment). i also am fascinated with the front of our building and our lobby...both are beautiful. dealing with management in a building like this is very different from a walk-up apartment complex with a mgt. office, too...we are learning to navigate the system. right now, i'd say the very best perk about our building is the super-cheap shuttle service that gets us down into central with a minimum of fuss.
  15. not that i am biased or anything (hahahaha), but not only do i think olivia is beautiful, but so does everyone we meet here. i really thought that quinn with his red hair and blue eyes would be the one attracting attention, but i was wrong. it's the bug with her gigantic brown eyes and wild curly brown hair that gets the attention. everywhere we go, ladies stop us to tell us how pretty livie is or to pinch her cheeks or touch her hair. she loves every minute of it :-)
  16. we had really good mexican food today at a place called taco was delicious, and it was pretty cheap!
  17. we have been away from happy valley only 2 days and already i miss the fruit stands and bakeries...we haven't found either of these types of shops close to us yet. it seems that we are in what's like the suburbs here whereas we were in more of an urban area in happy valley. we are a very short walk from the central shopping district now; the only problem is that that walk is comprised of many flights of steep stairs...i will have to wait until i have my hip carrier to carry quinn when he's not walking...navigating much of the mid-levels and central with a stroller is impossible.
  18. rugby 7s was this weekend, and it was quite the learning experience. between the move, the kids, and the scarcity of tix, going was not an option, but we had fun just checking out the people who were going. we walked by buzz lightyear on the way to the store...that made quinn's day!
  19. speaking of rugby...this is an interesting and INTENSE sport. a couple weeks ago, we all went down to the sports fields that are in the center of the happy valley race track (very near our apartment in happy valley and right next to the park the kids and i went to every day) and watched a rugby match between two women's teams. it was CRAZY. i know nothing about rugby, but i have to say i'm pretty intrigued after watching the bit that we did. a week or so after this, we were walking by a pub where many young men were drinking to their recent rugby their skivvies. livie thought this was HILARIOUS!!
  20. in just 2 days here, we already have met more neighbors than we did during the entire time we were in happy valley. it took me the four weeks we were there to notice that we never saw any other kids in that apartment building. here, there are kids EVERYWHERE...we feel much more at home and at peace with our loud, boisterous crew.

HKG029: Laundry...If Only I Could Git 'er Done!

quinny enjoying the little-kid section of a public playground near our new apartment

livie enjoying a zip-line thingy at the playground

quinn figuring out these moving discs while sissy watches

livie hamming it up in the little-kid section of the park

quinn fell asleep while we were out on errands yesterday...he woke up pissed at the world

this is one side of our living room. the couch does usually have cushions on it, but those are what the kids are sleeping on right now until their beds get here.

q's room...his "bed" is just below the carpet. when his real bed gets here, this whole area will be rearranged.

part of livie's room. her "bed" is catty corner to the egg chair. this arrangement is pretty much how it will be once her bed gets here.

our room. right now, our room is the repository for empty bins and for the boxes that contain our bikes and bike trailer.

view of the living room window and the offending toy box...i already removed the lid here. if you blow up this pic, you can see the bamboo scaffolding on the construction site across from our building. that green material is some kind of netting used to catch falling debris.

bad exposure, but this is josh and q getting the tv up. well, josh is getting the tv up and quinn is thinking of ways to get into trouble.

livie's self-made outfit today. when we went out, she wore this adorable pair of pink boots she got for her birthday along with a turquoise jacket.

the makings of rootbeer bbq sauce (i would normally make dr. pepper bbq sauce, but i can't find dp here). missing is some apple-cider vinegar...josh went out and got me some and the sauce was saved. check out the brown sugar sticks...pretty cool, eh? i haven't found granulated brown sugar here. yet.

we don't have a microwave, so i picked up this timer at IKEA...even though it doesn't look like my mom's timer, this one brings back all sorts of memories from my ticks and dings just like the timer my mom used my entire childhood. i am 99.9% sure she still has that timer, too.

the most-hated machine in our apartment. i have never wasted so much time, water, and gas-powered energy as i have trying to use this thing today. i think i am better off washing our clothes in the sink and hanging them to dry when i am not hauling them to the laundromat down the hill.

that's our fridge and our current system for kitchen trash. it's not pretty, but it works! notice the broom/dustbin combo...notice that it's made for someone who is not 5 foot 7. livie loves playing with this thing...b/c it's her size!!

this is the other end of our kitchen. note the stove...3 burners...still better than 2. note the laundry in the kitchen...i don't like tripping over it while i am cooking...have to find a new system for it.

our IKEA place settings. i love me some IKEA....their stuff is inexpensive and still pretty nice to look at.

matching monkeys after bath...they are wearing their matching christmas jammies...mostly b/c we need them both to be in long sleeves and long pants in this COLD-at-night apartment. we have yet to score ourselves a space heater. while josh and i slept much better with the addition of a blanket (the kids have at least 2 if not 3 blankets on their beds), i am still having to wear fuzzy pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, and socks in order not to freeze. i know it will be more comfortable once we are not sleeping on rubber that is laying directly on the cold floor.

we are now officially settled into our new apartment. we either have or have purchased all of the household goods we need (some will arrive late next week/weekend), i cooked our first full dinner tonight, and finally, everything is as put away as it can be (we still have to get rid of our empty plastic bins and ship our bikes/trailer back to TX since we can't use them here).

the kids are having fun exploring their rooms, getting reacquainted with their toys, and generally causing mischief. quinn misappropriated a toy box in such a way that it smacked him hard and caused him to bite his tongue quite badly. i have removed the lid from that box, and we'll just have to deal with the messy look of it. he also threw his metal hiro train out our window (and down 10 stories). thank god, no one was below us...that would have caused a major injury had it hit someone. we've had some serious talks about the windows, and josh has rigged that one window to not open easily.

livie has been having a blast being reunited with all of her clothes and her dressup clothes. she was sporting a combination of punky brewster and madonna today (tamed down madonna) with arm warmers, shoulder-length clip on earings, and a flapper dress with leggings. she looked pretty a lot of looks when we went out, but i think she was okay with that.

i have had some fun getting our house set up and organized. even though i am not the most domestic person, i do enjoy organizing household stuff. i have been waging a war with our laundry machine, though. a friend warned me that these combo units that both wash and dry aren't too great, and boy was she right. this thing SUCKS. by the end of the day, i was shouting at it, and telling it how much i hate it. i have been working on the same darn load of 15 small items ALL *&^% DAY LONG. it has taken no less than 2 cycles to dry these 15 small items, and right when the 2nd drying cycle was finishing, sticky-fingers quinn went and turned the dial back to wash. i give up. i will take most of our laundry to a facility that's down the hill from us and just do our kitchen towels and very small items with this unit...and only hang them out to dry (oh, and it rained on and off all day today, so putting the stuff out to dry wasn't an option). arrrggghhhh. i did notice an indoor drying rack in the cupboard in our bathroom, and once our room is completely set up, i will put that up to dry stuff inside, too. i never realized how much i take our washer and dryer in pville for granted. both items are 2nd hand and we got them dirt cheap, but man, they work like a dream. i had no idea how difficult laundry could be!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

HKG028: Mid-Level Deep in Moving

today has been a pretty crazy day of getting our new place set up. it's just about done...just a few more essentials to get, and we are set. while today was LOOOONNNNNGGG and hectic, i think it's safe to say that we all feel more settled and at peace tonight as the house has come together.

i think i mentioned that the temps here are usually in the 50s and 60s. i think the lowest it's gotten since we got here was in the high 40s. well, it turns out that 60s and humid feels different than 60s and dry. josh and i froze our tails off last night...we did not yet have a blanket for our air mattress, and the combination of the air mattress and the wood floor meant we were very cold.

a neighbor came by and introduced herself and one of her children this morning, and then invited us to come to her apartment, which is next door. as soon as i walked in, i noticed it was nice and warm...she pointed out a tiny space heater tucked into a corner. it heated the whole apartment. we will be getting one of those. apartments here have window A/Cs, but no heaters. you wouldn't think you'd need them, but you do.

since i have not had my computer plugged in for about 36 hours, i also have not had my phone plugged in (use a USB cable to charge the phone), and thus no pics. i promise to get some good ones tomorrow. first up is a picture of the measly 10 items of laundry that our new washer/dryer combo unit is able to handle. there were originally 13 items in the unit, but i finally hung 3 of them out to dry after two cycles failed to dry them. hooooh, boy is this going to be different. i purged 6 bags worth of our clothes tonight, and i will be purging probably that many more over the next week or so. there is just no need to store all that clothing when we have so little space to store it in or wash it in!

because of our internet woes, i missed several skype dates this morning. i will reach out to the friends and family we missed in the next couple days. i tell ya what...starting my day skyping with family and friends has become a nice habit. i thoroughly missed that this morning.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

HKG026: The Final Hours in 500 Sq Ft

Yellow-crested and Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

in just a couple hours, we will finish moving out of happy valley and into the mid-levels. it took a whopping 45 minutes to pack up our stuff here, but it's going to take several taxi rides to get it all up to the mid-levels simply due to the size of the taxis and to traveling with two small children (and only two arms per adult).

our internet connection is not yet set up at the new place thanks to a glitch with the cable company, but the cable is set up and josh is procuring us something to sleep on as i type this. i am not sure what i will cook with tonight...not sure if there will be time to get to a home store to get some pots/pans. we may just get take away. darn ;-p

it's been a weird day for the kids...well, for quinn. he was stuck inside the apartment with me all morning while we waited to hear from josh and livie...we expected them back in 45 minutes, but instead almost 4 hours went by before we saw them. you know what, pay-as-you-go phones aren't refilled by magic. after hours of trying to reach each other, josh finally figured out that our phones (actually just his) were out of minutes. d'oh.

so, we didn't get out for as much activity as we usually do. we did get out for a short walk to the the small park that is very close to us, and along the way we heard the tweets of an enthusiastic bird that i've been suspecting is some kind of parrot, but had not seen. today, we finally saw him...he's a cockatoo. i have never seen one in the wild...only in a cage. i have to say that it was pretty awesome to look up into a tree and see this magnificent bird living free and being very vocal about it!

livie has been reunited with her scooter and has been loving her "new" mode of transportation...right up until she ate some asphalt today. she took a pretty good spill, which necessitated lots of kisses and an early walk home from the park. i have to keep reminding her not to step on something that has wheels if she's not prepared for it to move ;-p

HKG025: The Mother of Necessity

choosing the very moment i snapped the camera to decide he was DONE with the tire swing

taking a break to munch on an apple

burying thomas in the dirt

sliding with glee

mid licking cheese off of this plate after having pizza hut for dinner

quinn enjoyed throwing grated cheese all over the place, including the floor, and then the two monkeys decided to lick it up.

if necessity is the mother of invention, then i am the mother of necessity...or so it seems.

today was a pretty busy day with trying to get the new place in order. as we were cleaning up to leave the closet this morning, i made a mental note that we were out of soy milk for the boy. and then i promptly disposed of that mental note. a few hours later, when the boy and i headed home for an attempt at a nap, i had completely forgotten we were out of milk. i made the mistake of telling the boy we were out of milk. much angst poured forth. in desperation, i dug through the fridge and cupboard (note the singular, there) in search of something i could use instead. i found yogurt in the fridge...forgot i had bought that yesterday. i created a watered down strawberry yogurt smoothie for the did not have the desired effect.

after 1.5 hours of vigorous nap refusal and many, many attempts at getting q to lie down and be still (and fall asleep), i gave up. we hung around the closet for a bit and then headed for the playground. he played happily for about 45 minutes, and then went running over to his stroller and said "mah stoh-er!" i should have taken this as my first clue that the best bet was to have him walk home, but instead i put him in the stroller. he was out cold within 30 seconds. and so began the crappiest 45-minute nap in the history of toddlerhood...and the resulting crabby afternoon.

in the mean time, josh and livie were at the new place overseeing cable hookup and waiting for stuff to be delivered from IKEA. delivery was timely, and josh got most of our stuff set up.

tomorrow will entail finding something for me and josh to sleep on, getting some kitchen stuff so we can cook/eat at the new place, and clearing out the closet. we will do the final walk-thru on the closet saturday morning.