Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Cat

There is a cat watching me. All the time, from different vantage points. The cat is mostly white with a small amount of black and very large. The cat has a blue collar. Since we moved into this house I have seen the cat nearly everyday and in very odd places. One day I opened the curtains on the patio and the cat was right there looking at me through the glass. I see the cat looking at me through the windows of the kitchen in the mornings or from the top of the fence as I get in my car. Every time I would call Taka over to see the cat it would be gone and he didnt believe me. We have a very high fence around our yard and gate and I have never seen the cat jump it, he is just always here. I was starting to imagine the cat is a ghost or a product of my insanity when one day Taka actually did see the cat and a few days later baby girl started yelling "kitty kitty" so I know she saw the cat too.

This cat must be really interested in watching me. I am a cat sit-com star.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wild about Wildlife

Orana Wildlife Park
Originally uploaded by pointybunny.
Took baby girl to her first wildlife experience. Went to the little but nice Orana Wildlife Park

We started the day at her Music playgroup. Its also small and so far we like it. They have alot of activities that baby girl actually participates in, in her other playgroup she mostly just runs around in circles and causes trouble.

In a nice gesture they gave us all Mother's Day cards and Hot chocolate. Probably the only card I will get. Taka isn't big on cards or writing of any kind. The first time he ever gave me a card was this past Valentine's Day. Towards the end of the hour, Taka came for awhile and baby girl was so excited to have daddy there. She showed him all the toys and shared her cheerios with him. While we were talking she went and pulled all the playgroups books off the shelves.
Music Playgroup
Baby girl has a friend in her playgroups, a little Japanese girl who is about her same age and height. Her mother is very sweet however, much more quiet than me. oh well, most people are more quiet than me ha ha. I love watching them spend time together because since neither of them can talk properly they point alot and touch each other gently and Baby girl even let her eat some of her Cheerios. That might not sound like much but food is very important to her. One boy took her Cheerios and she was so upset she was shaking from head to toe. Well more about playgroups in another post.

After playgroup we headed off to the wildlife park. I am not a zoo fan because they make me sad but I guess these new style zoos with the simulated natural environment with room to run is as good as you can get being a captive.

Driving there was funny, when we go somewhere new, Taka always asks me "Where is the ...(insert place)?" and I always answer "How do I know, I have never been here before either" we have this same exchange every place we go.

Once there, as we got out of the car we immediately saw rhinocerus or rhinocerusus whatever the plural is there, but we had to wait for our friends. they were running late so we went inside to wait. Tickets were reasonable since children under 5 are free. Immediately inside baby girl spotted a group of ducks and ran at them trying to befriend them. She was afraid of birds for awhile after a chicken bit her but she seems to have gotten over that. When our friends arrived we jumped on the tram which was basically a tractor with two cars painted with zebra stripes attached. We were the only ones on the tram but mr driver didnt seem to thrilled with us. At every stop he seemed to give this kind of double talk that would lead you to believe this was where we were supposed to get off. Finally at one stop, our friend Aki got off to ask the man about the Cheetah exhibit and driver yelled "hurry up, I cant wait here all day" we were like, "buddy, chill, we are the only ones on the tram" I finally got aggravated enough to get off at the Giraffe stop and walk the rest of the park. One good thing about that "tram" is it doesnt go flying around like a speeding bullet like the one at Disney's Animal Kingdom where you sort of go "Hey, I think I saw an elephant back there, not sure" when I was working there a tram ran over some rare birds!
on the tram

At the Giraffe enclosure we were there in time for the Giraffe feeding. Park employees gave us branches with leaves on them and baby girl got to feed a giraffe! and I got to pet a Giraffe. Another thing on my list of things I never thought I would happen. I got hit by ham today too which was also on my list of things I never thought would happen but that is another story.
Giraffe Times Two

We walked up to the Lion enclosure and we were all struck by how big and powerful they are. I dont think unless you seem them in reality you can imagine the sheer power that radiates from them. Baby girl was yelling "Kitty Kitty" at them all which was very cute. I was worried that the scraggly fence around them might not hold if they got annoyed by her. Same thing with the tigers, but the tigers were most depressing for me. We only saw one but he was doing that bored pacing back and forth they do in captivity. They should be running through the jungle and swimming across rivers, not pacing back and forth in some ratty little pen while dopes like us stare at them.

They had a farm section with all the usual farm animals there. Baby girl saw a bunny and almost went out of her mind. They had an enclosure with 2 cows and 2 sheep just hanging out and you could climb in with them. I found it odd there were no park employees around to watch out that you didnt kill yourselves or the animals. Baby girl immediately ran to the sheep and hugged them. She touched the cows lovingly though when they moved she got nervous because of their size. I kept a close eye on her so she didnt start poking them. She saw a real Piggy too but didnt believe me it was the same as her stuffed Piggy.
Sheep like Meggy

Baby girl's love for animals is amazing. I don't know where it comes from as we don't have any animals and she has never been around them for any length of time. You can see her love for animals comes from her heart. Her eyes shine when she sees them. Somehow she makes the connection between her stuffed toys and real animals too.
Taking her to animal places is my favorite, it's always so fun to see her really happy like this.

We went in the Kiwi house which oddly enough, had a sign written in japanese but I didnt see anything else written in Japanese. Didn't see any Kiwi's though. I am beginning to think they are mythological. every time we go somewhere there are supposed to be Kiwi's there arent any.
Kiwi House

If you have any curiousity about why New Zealanders call themselves "Kiwi's" you can read about it :
I wondered that myself as it doesn't seem all that flattering but it says they can outrun humans and slash with their feet. All useful skills.

Well, seems like most people really love monkeys because we sure saw alot of them and everyone in our party was thrilled. I am a grouch, I don't dig monkeys that much. However, we did see Otters and I am in love with Otters now. I didn't know they were the cutest things on earth. I could watch them all day. Everyone else was enthralled with watching the porcupine get fed but I couldn't get away from the otters. They are natures comedians, they were so funny and adorable.
Otters could possibly be the cutest things on earth

Back at the front of the park, baby girl was having fun with the ducks again. For some odd reason she was growling and squealing at them which made her look like she was having a fit of some kind. In the gift shop I wanted to pick her up a souvenir but all the stuffed animals were very pricey and the baby shirts were too, I was in there for so long everyone was annoyed by me so I grabbed a little plastic cup with the logo on it for baby girl. The salesclerk said "is this it?" in a aggravated tone. Well, at least I bought something for Pete's sake. sheesh. The sun was setting and the park was closing soon so it was time to take Baby girl home.
Time to go Home

New Zealandism of the day:


This is some kind of vacation home and pronounced like "Batch" have heard it many times and with the accent always thought they were calling me a bad name (b#tch)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

There is no parking in Christchurch

We took baby girl out to eat last night in the city. Took her to the stone grill and some friends came along. Taka drove in this big huge circle around the city because he lost his way but didn't want to admit it. He kept up a bantering chatter about all these neighborhoods he likes as if that would disguise the fact he went the wrong way.

Once at the restaurant of course we couldn't find any parking and drove around in circles looking for a space. There is always that one space full of broken glass open but besides that nothing. Downtown Christchurch is really slim on parking which I don't understand because there seems to be plenty of room to put up a parking lot. Maybe they don't want to pave paradise, but they shouldn't have all the stuff to do in a small area with no way to get there. Doesn't help that Taka gets so aggravated looking for parking he starts zooming around with disregard for traffic safety.

We finally found a spot and made it to the restaurant. There is a duck pond in the back that cheered up baby girl instantly. She loves animals of all kinds and she just learned to "quack" so that is her fun right there. The restaurant had teeny tiny tables and crammed 6 of us and baby girl's high chair around 2 tiny tables. People kept looking at us and it was starting to freak me out when I realized there was a big tv over my head with rugby playing on it. They like their rugby here.

The menu was very eclectic and odd. There was what they called a "flinstone steak" I tried to get Taka to order it so I could see what it looked like but he wouldn't. They even sold Kangaroo and Ostrich. I was horrified but the other people in our party ordered both without blinking an eye and had a normal conversation about it like it's something you do everyday.

Baby girl's fingers are still very tender and ouchie and she has learned not to shove food in her mouth like she usually does. She enjoyed her meal though and that's what is important. Our food was actually an hour late and we were getting very upset so finally Taka complained and they gave us 20% off the whole bill.

New Zealand Saying:

"Sweet As"

no, it's not sweet what you think, it's sweet as. Not sure how to use it in a sentence but its sort of like saying "cool"

Friday, May 04, 2007

The First Real Hurt

Thursdays is Japanese playgroup day. This is baby girl's favorite play time. She knows the layout of the building very well now and is very comfortable with all the people. She always thinks everyone loves her and is there to talk to her and give her snacks . There is a toy here in the playgroup that she loves so very much. It's a toy stroller for a doll. She holds it by the handles and drives all over the place at full run, better get out of her way!

I was excited today because Daddy was going to join us at playgroup and watch baby girl for awhile at play in her element. My friend's husband, Aki, was also on hand. Today's playgroup theme was "Boy's Day" so everyone was decorating. Baby girl was in a great mood, zooming here and there with her stroller. so cute! She made it out the front door and into the parking lot. There is a small plot in the middle full of rose bushes but other than that it's basically a blacktop lot. Baby girl likes to go out and run up to the gate fronting the street then back to the playgroup entrance. When she was out in the yard her friend came with another doll stroller and they were happily rattling around.

I was walking right behind her as she pushed her stroller and suddenly she Fell. she fell hard. the doll stroller went whizzing out from under her. Her cry echoed on the walls of the church magnifying it. I picked her up and held her thinking that she was frightened from her fall. I held her and then I realized her crying was frantic and terrified and it wasn't lessening. I held her away from me and realized for the first time there was blood streaming from her hand. This is a moment a mother never wants to have happen. It all hits you in a flash "my child is hurt" then there is the panicky "what do I do?"

I immediately scanned the yard for help and spotted Aki, I cried out to him "she is bleeding, help me!" which he ran right over and we brought her into the main playroom and I asked the playgroup operators if they had a first aid kid (remember, I still dont really know what to do, but it sounded like a start) while they were looking for it I took Baby girl in the bathroom and rinsed her hand gently. The blood just didn't stop. I couldn't tell through all the blood but it looked like she ripped off her whole fingernail for starters.

Outside the bathroom, they brought the first aid kit to me and there was barely anything in it. the bandaids wouldnt stick to her fingers through all the blood and there wasnt any antibiotic. They ran her hand again under the cold tap in the break room and she began to scream again. All the other mothers hovered around trying to help but it more made me start to panic. I dialed Taka and told him to get there as fast as he could and right in the middle of talking to him I started to cry and couldnt continue. Handed the phone off to Sakura and just held baby girl as tightly as I could. For a moment, I shut down. This is not the way I pictured our first emergency. I think I knew in my heart that it wasnt life or death but still the blood of your child is frightening. The pain and fear in her that I couldnt lessen was overwhelming. We took her outside to wait for daddy and Aki held her hand up and put pressure on it. A bunch of the other mothers donated snacks to her to keep her calm. Even when in pain, Baby girl loves her snacks.

Daddy showed up and as usual, he brings the calm. We drove straight to the doctor and found out that she did rip off her fingernail, another finger has a terrible deep bruise and the nail was separating, she had a scraped finger and split lip. All this from just tripping with a baby doll stroller. I still can't figure out how she hurt herself so badly. I was standing right behind her and saw the whole thing.

Took her home and gave her some pain medicine and put her to bed to sleep a little. I sat on the couch and tried to figure out if there was anything I could have done to stop it from happening. Should I have let her wear different pants? Should I have not let her go outside? Should I have not let her play with the doll stroller? It went around in circles in my head. Taka told me that these things happen and having a child means having to deal with them. There was nothing I could have done, he said, and in the future she will most likely be hurt worse so I need to learn to deal with it and not panic. I know it wasn't the worse thing that could happen, but it was bad for me, bad for my vision of myself as a mother.