Tsunami warning!

This morning, after the big quake in Samoa, NZ woke up to tsunami warnings.

On TVNZ’s Breakfast, the Civil Defence spokesperson was asked what we should do.

“Er, I guess you need to turn on your radios and be ready to evacuate," the poor guy stammered. If you are going to be a spokesperson, please have a way with words.

I live a block away from the beach. A tsunami is possible in my area. My phone book even has a helpful section about what to do if one lives “in a zone at risk":

Is that a tsunami? Quick, run for higher ground!

Some people in the village have told me they are worried about what to do in a tsunami. Ironically, these same people are not prepared for an earthquake.

An earthquake is extremely likely in the village. Since, you know, we live on a FAULT LINE. A tsunami is just a little more likely than, say, a snowstorm in Miami.

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I made the mistake of posting a status update about the tsunami on Facebook:

The tsunami is unlikely to affect my area. I'm still ready to evacuate. Because I'm neurotic.
Most of the comments that I received were variations of “Thinking of you” and “Keep safe”. I am concerned that my friends on Facebook don’t “get” my sense of humour.

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As usual, the tsunami in NZ turned out to be Much Ado About Nothing. The first wave to hit NZ was measured at about 40 cm (15 inches).

Bracing for the tsunami on the front deck at Wellington Road.

Edited to add: You can help the victims of the earthquake/tsunami in Samoa by making a donation to the NZ Red Cross.


The child refuses to nap. At least it means an early bed time.

I was born in the 70s. For those of you too young to remember, just imagine Women’s Lib and Dr. Spock.

When I was growing up, my mother often said I wasn't getting enough sleep:
  1. You're grumpy! You haven’t been getting enough sleep.

  2. You're sick! Not enough sleep.

  3. You and your friend painted my bedroom dresser? With nail polish? Definitely not enough sleep.

Not getting enough sleep caused all of my problems.

When my brother and I were little, naps were mandatory. I was never tired. I didn’t want to stop playing with my Barbies. But my mother forced us to go to our rooms and have a lie down. She was so mean!

If we didn’t lie down quietly in our own beds, my mother made us lie down WITH HER in her bed. If this happened, I absolutely refused to go to sleep. I was very STUBBORN (or so I have been told). I lay in my parents’ bed until my mother finally got up, and then I got up too.

My brother was not so lucky. He tried very hard not to fall asleep, but he always failed. And the poor kid didn’t wake up for HOURS.

Now I am a parent, and I am determined to Do Things Differently. I don’t force the child, age 4, to lie down for Quiet Time. He is allowed to play quietly in his room.

But sometimes I feel a nap would be beneficial. And if I lie down with the child, sometimes he will go to sleep.

Most of the time, however, the child refuses to go to sleep. He is so mean! He wiggles and fidgets and wanders off to go get something, or go for a poop, or get a drink of water, until I finally give up, and QUIET TIME IS OVER.

Then I am cross, and I feel out of sorts for the rest of the afternoon.

So I finally get it. When I was little, those naps were not (necessarily) for me. And now that I can't stay up past 9:30, I understand why my parents put me to bed so early.

Parenting is such karmic payback. It’s a beyotch.


I’m not getting any alone time.

At Playcentre, the child is all about playing with his friends. Playcentre is where play dates get arranged. And I can drop him off and get some alone time.

It is horrible when illness prevents us from going to Playcentre.

This week, due to a very minor illness, we stayed home alone for two days. I was going out of my mind.

Lately, when I am playing with the child (and his Transformers), I get bored distracted so easily.

I want to tidy up, or have a cup of coffee, or play on the computer work on my assessments.

If I try to do something else, the child orders me to PLAY!

I feel like a TV. The child wants me to entertain him. ALL DAY.

A friend said I just need to give the child five minutes. Then I will get an hour of alone time.

But if I give the child five minutes, he wants another hour.

I must be doing it wrong.


My husband hates eating out. At least he's a good cook.

We live in the boonies (American for rural area). There aren’t many options for eating out, or for takeaways (Kiwi for take-out).

Besides, making our own food (from scratch) is almost as easy as buying packaged, processed foods. Especially if my husband is doing the cooking. It is definitely cheaper.

And since I’m a control freak, I like to know what exactly is in my food. If I don’t know what an ingredient on the label is (more or less), then I probably won’t buy it. I like whole foods.

It helps to have a few time-saving kitchen appliances. Obviously, the microwave and the toaster. Here are my other must-haves:
  1. The jug (Kiwi for electric kettle)
    The electric kettle is CRITICAL to our daily operations at Wellington Road (eg, for the coffee plunger). I might have mentioned it before. Can't. Live. Without. It.

  2. The slow cooker
    And I love my slow cooker. You can throw dinner in it and forget about it. It's a good thing.

  3. The sandwich maker
    For toasties (Kiwi for grilled cheese sandwiches). A cast-iron skillet is nice, but the sandwich maker doesn’t require such close monitoring.

  4. The blender
    To puree soups. Or make hummus or pesto or smoothies. I really like the food processor too.

  5. The juicer
    I could probably live without the juicer. But with an organic fruit and veggie shop in the village, why would I want to?


Today is Father's Day in NZ.

Crap. I'm late for the international mail (again).

Hmmm, perhaps, finding cards in the shops isn't the problem.

Oh, well. Happy Father's Day.

Me: Isn't Opa a handsome bloke (Kiwi for guy)? Child: Opa looks kind of funny.


Suede loafers.

The child still didn't want these suede loafers from Pumpkin Patch. But I made him get them anyway.

Excuse me, do you have these in my size?


A very happy birthday to my dad, who likes trains just as much as I do.

Husband: I looked in here, and you were playing with the train set, ALL BY YOURSELF.

Me: Er, the engines really needed a Fat Controller.


Curtains flashback.

Rob brings up an interesting point in the comments of my last post:

What is it with Kiwis and neutral colours? Our house was all cream and beige when we bought it. Apart from the 1970s cream, yellow, green and brown curtains!

It's true. All over Wellington, there are these exact same curtains from the 70s. I know, because I have looked at A LOT of rentals. And a lot of homes up for sale. I am nosy picky.

At our last flat, I almost convinced myself these curtains said South Pacific. Behold.

Groovy! Cream, yellow, green, and brown. Can you dig it?

But I was distracted. With a baby this cute, I soon forgot all about the curtains.