Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bump Watch

Well there must be something in this New Zealand water because I've gone and gotten pregnant. That's right I am with child, knocked up, have a bun in the oven, no matter what you call it it's all the same: I'm a baby mamma to be. And very very excited.

First things first - Yes our baby will have dual citizenship! I'm pretty sure that besides awesome international work and travel opportunities for our unborn, this also means they will not get picked last on the kickball field. Or perhaps they won't be cool because I think kids still play kickball. Either way, I'm convinced dual citizenship status will give them magical powers or at least a really neat, "Where I was born" story.

It's kind of weird sharing this kind of personal news on such a public forum but I've had a few months to get used to the idea and seeing as I have a blog, it's kind of a big thing to leave out, not to mention the whole physical, belly going to turn into a basketball before too long, aspect of this little miracle.

Having a baby in this county is just one more piece of the adventure as far as I'm concerned. My first doctor's appointment was pretty funny. I met with the first doctor available as I didn't have an official one yet. So I tell him that I'm pregnant and ask what needs to happen next, do I need a more official test, etc. His response, "If you feel like you're pregnant you are. Those tests are pretty accurate."  I'm pretty sure I laughed, I mean will the real slim shady please stand up? So next he gets out some kind of a  paper date wheel that looks like a sun dial to tell me my due date. I explain that I already used the internet to figure it out but thanks.

When I ask about next steps, he says, "well the longer you wait the more you can see." Alright specifics are not his specialty, I'm gathering that pretty quickly. I'm wise enough to see I'm not going to get the answers I'm looking for so I leave with a smile and a packet all about being pregnant, the NZ version of What to Expect When You're Expecting in pamphlet form. I couldn't tell you what his name was because all I can see is Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock and that's how I think of him when I look back on that amusing day.

I've come a long way since then. I now have a lovely midwife who is taking care of me and can actually answer my questions. Alright, I KNOW, a midwife sounds pretty out there to everyone that doesn't live in Northern California or didn't deliver on The Farm in rural Tennessee. As common as it is in America to have a doctor though, that's how common it is here to have a midwife. And honestly, after understanding what a midwife actually is,  a trained healthcare professional schooled in all things pregnancy, labor/delivery, and even makes house calls post baby, it makes complete sense to me and I haven't thought twice about it.

I think having a little bambino here is going to suit me just fine. Not just because I recently found out that I get paid, $1,200 just for having a baby! Adam was quick to joke that that was  more money then I'd brought in all year. He's a funny one. Hey you can't quantify the love that goes into home cooked meals and line dryed underwear....

All this pregnancy stuff is of course new to me so a friend recommended I sign up for emails from the Baby Center, basically information all about what's going on with your baby and body each week. Well when I first signed up, I stumbled upon a  link that invited me to meet others that are also due in December. Boy did I ever click on some Crazy!

I don't even know where to begin. There are basically all the message boards where people seek advice, make comments, and create dumb surveys while they are bored at work (I've giving them the benefit of the doubt here). Why Jessica in Des Moines wants to know what I think her baby's middle name should be I don't know. They have screen names like JaydensMommy and B'sPrincess. Yes, I also threw up a litttle in my mouth it's ok. One of the worst parts is that these boards have their own little acronyms and language, so instead of saying "my husband" people would say my DH (Dear Husband) or DD (Dear Daughter). They talk about Angel Babies and Rainbow Babies. I'm telling you this was like a train wreck that I could not turn away from.

One of my favorite threads started with this question, "Heard I shouldn't drink caffeine, can I drink it at all or is some ok? Here was by far the best response: "Actually my friend's mother drank a lot and it stunted her growth and she only has one hand because of it. But my friend grew up fine and she was even a gymnast for most of her life so she managed great with one hand. I never even noticed until I was like 7 because she seemed to always hide the missing one and she honestly got around perfectly fine without it."

What?! No seriously, What?!

Anyway, needless to say I cut myself off from going to these boards but if you want to to feel better about yourself or just want to laugh I definitely encourage you to check it out.

Despite getting sick once in some public toilets in a town known as Hobbiton, it's been fairly smooth sailing with lots of afternoon naps and minimal sickness. I'm incredibly fortunate that I get to actually spend my days resting, going to yoga, and baking whatever concoction strikes my fancy.

Life is good.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bay of Islands: Fit for a Queen

In New Zealand, you can go from this:

 To This:

In only a couple of hours. Adam took off from this storage shed:

Also know as the Hokitika Aiport on the South Island, to arrive just in time for our most recent Queen's Birthday holiday. That would be the Queen of England, by the way. Memorial Day is out and Queen's Birthday is in. We took advantage of the long weekend and headed to Russell. Boy do we have good taste if I do say so myself. The Bay of Islands are beautiful:

We had this aha moment looking out like, "Oh right, that's why it's called Bay of really is a bay full of lots of little islands." I like it settlers. Call it how you see it. No funny business here. We went on an amazing boat cruise with promises of dolphin viewing and even a chance to swim with the dolphins but our hopes were dashed as Flipper and his friends weren't out that day. Instead, we had to resort to looking at laminated pictures of the dolphins in a plastic folder. I tried to swim with them in my head but it just wasn't the same. It was still totally worth it because it was a gorgeous day and we got to see this:

 The infamous Hole in the Rock.

And more goodness -The view from the little mountain behind our hotel in Russell:

And how 'bout this sunset we caught from our room:

Our B & B was real, real nice as were the couple that ran it. They prefer to have only one room reserved at a time so they can provide extra good service so we were the only people there. Somehow, the night I turn in early, Adam stays up and learns all about our quirky but kind hosts. He learns from the Man that they use to run a hunting lodge in England and that he is really into Jack Daniels and Ferraris. Um ok, a little edgier then stamps, but whatever floats your boat.

Trying to include the Wife in the conversation, he asks her if there is anything she collects. Before I tell you her answer let me first tell you what this woman looks like. She is in her 50's and has long brown hair, literally down to her waist. Her style could be described as Euro Amish, but mostly just Amish. She is dressed very "proper." Let's just say the Mormons would be proud with her amount of coverage. Anyway, while her husband is shining his Ferrari she is busy adding to her erotic art collection. She volunteers to show Adam some of her pieces. Ohhh I so wish I could have seen Adam's face as she showed him her antique phallic symbol toys. Good times. They honestly couldn't have been any nicer or more accommodating and the place was really gorgeous but they were definitely characters.

Ooh I almost forgot one of the most fun parts of going to Russell, you get to take a car ferry there!

I love ferries because they remind me of when I lived on Martha's Vineyard, such great memories. Don't mind Adam's midlife crisis/successful gay man/Steve from 90210's car. It's not something we were looking for but let's just say someone made us an offer we couldn't refuse. I've certainly never had a convertible before but I will say it is super fun and extremely impractical.  Anyway, it was a great trip and long live the Queen!

On a different note, I met my Burmese refugee family. They were so sweet, not that they really spoke much English, but we had translators there and lots of smiles were exchanged. The three little boys were adorable but shy, understandable. We move them into their new place on Saturday and I'm amazed at how much our team has already been able to gather for them. With just a little bit of effort and networking we have gotten so much stuff that they will need. We will be turning their house into a home in no time! I have the job of taking them grocery shopping, sans translator, which should be highly entertaining and a test in, I'm not sure what, but something I'm sure.