A Busy and Very Special Saturday

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We started our day with scrambled eggs with mushroom and sausage, by the time we got the boys ready it was 9 already. First we stopped at Steve’s Whole Foods, another organic shop in town, it was great I found organic udon and some awesome snacks for the boys, one called little birds, they make crackers with nuts that are sugar free, dairy free and RAW. It is perfect for the boys and it was so delicious and I couldn’t stop eating it!

We made our next stop at the farmer’s market first, we love the market but they didn’t have any organic offering so we got our coffee and picked up some tomatoes. At Organic Living, I got some seeds from ecoSeeds, the only New Zealand company that sells organic seeds, some of the vegetables are varieties unique to New Zealand. The boys napped while I was shopping so Michael and I decided to keep on going, we spent about an hour at Baby Factory and got our pram fitted, apparently it was the wrong bar they sent us so they had to order another one. And it took a long time for them to attach the sleeping bags to the pram. But it’s all worthwhile because Mountain Buggy is really awesome, with the suspension it’s a total different experience pushing these guys, I didn’t even feel that I neeed to push, the pram just moves with tiny force and it’s a much smoother ride for the boys, Michael said he didn’t even noticed the difference when he moved from pavement to grass!

Lunch at the Plaza was Japanese, boys are at the stage they throw everything, rice, noodles, water bottles, even though they still love eating all day long.  The Plaza has the nicest change room ever, very well designed – a push button for the door, a play area, change tables and two feeding rooms and a bathroom for parents and kids (little toilet). The sign says “Parents Room  Dads Welcome” so it was great that we could actually hang out there for a while, and I could comfortably feed the boys.  There’s a lot going on probably with the Rugby World Cup, an outdoor concert with lots of people today. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. We loved the walk to Harvey Norman and seeing the cherry blossom (in OCT), and had a pleasant surprise – they are having a garage sale for all electronics, ends at 5:30pm, so we went ahead and bought a Samsung washer and a Bosch dryer at close to half price, we were so happy to run into a deal like this. They are both front loader and the dryer has sensor dry – just what we need!

We never go to the Square without stopping at the Coffee Club, the staff knew us since we started getting coffee there since day one and they love to get the updates of our progress, getting a car, finding a house, etc. They are very friendly and they love the boys, they even gave us a complimentary VIP card so we get a free hot drink with a purchase of one. Tomorrow the boys will be 15 months old and to our surprise, the boys started signing!!! Michael broke a piece of the scone and gave it to Li, I asked him to sign, right away Li responded with “MORE”, and he loved doing it and we were all so excited, then Lin started doing it too! We couldn’t believe it…it was such a special moment and I was lucky to have my camera to capture that moment.

We picked up dinner at one of our favorites, Cambodian, then stopped at Esplanade and had the boys playing for a while. They loved walking around this time picking up rocks and sticks, and Michael noticed that Lin knew the difference among gravel, grass and cement since he carefully studied the terrain before he set foot on them, they were chasing ducks on the lawn it was so cute. We are used to people coming up and saying how cute the boys were, almost every time we went out, someone would stop and ask about them. Last night we were at Summerhill Shopping Center, an older Kiwi couple told us in New Zealand, they call twins “Mrs Benz’s Twins” and I googled, nothing came out! Today a younger woman screamed across the street and ran towards us to check out the boys and she was the most excited person I’ve ever seen, and said she would love to have twin boys (we were thinking be careful of what you wish for:), anyway she said how beautiful the boys are and how cute they are, it was the right moment since we were just so thrilled that they are communicating with us now and it was so so special.

We are really falling in love with New Zealand, people are friendly, life is easier, it is extremely safe, coffee is excellent with it’s own menu, there’re certain things we don’t like, prices are higher for a lot of things than in the US (internet for example), but overall, our quality of life is loads better, especially for raising kids, apart from 50 outdoor play areas across this small city, parents are getting grant every other week for financial assistance, then the government pays for up to 20 hours of any form of daycare, playcentre (which is unique for New Zealand), in-home care or any kind of early education program, it truly puts the children as a priority in the society and makes parents’ life a lot less stressful. Last night I walked to Massey and met up with Michael, we drove to Summerhill via the back way, the forest and the mountain (which is minutes from city center) were so beautiful, with herds of sheep grazing on the bright green grass, it was so picturesque and we both said to each other “Why elsewhere? This is home”.

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