Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Final Countdown

4 weeks to go .....

I'm to the point now where I see a woman jogging on the road and am filled with envy. Look at you bouncing freely, you're probably going to go home and have a big glass of wine and then sleep on your stomach - you b*tch! I don't know who started the whole 9 months myth about pregnancy but it's 10 in case anyone was wondering. Whoever it was is a big fat liar and their pants should be on fire.

However, the only thing on fire around here is my dreams. Seriously if Hollywood could see into them, trust me they would be buying the rights. And it's been like this from the beginning. I'm talking sex, murder, and intrigue people. Trust me they are a very interesting place to be. I'd been doubtful before that I could kill mobsters in China Town, but now that I've done it in my dreams I feel confident that 1. I can and 2. I'm ready to be a mother.

One of the funniest dreams I had was shortly after we got cable (Sky TV as it's called here), which was last month by the way. Yes it's true, we did manage to go almost an entire year without it. The lure of college football is what really sent us running into the arms of a satellite dish, ESPN, and me into Kardashian marathons. Which brings me to my dream. I am watching E, which is one of our new stations and see an ad where Kourtney Kardashian says, "It's a girl." That's all it took. Fast forward to that night, and I have a dream (nightmare!) all about how Kourtney has stolen a baby name we are considering and it was on the cover of US Weekly. Of course I now can't use that name because everyone will think we named our baby after a Kardashian. In the dream I was seriously tortured over this. I was relieved to discover after a google search the next morning that my fear was unfounded. Whew!

Weird dreams aside, there are many parts of pregnancy I have really enjoyed. One such thing being baby showers. My friend Adrienne recently threw me a fabulous high tea themed shower where everyone was encouraged to bring a gift to spoil the the mother to be, i.e. ME!

And wear a hat or fascinator:

I didn't even know what a fascinator was before I was having a shower where I needed to wear one, but I gotta say everyone looked fabulous and had a really good time. It's so English over here that it was fun to embrace that part of the culture. Unfortunately, Kate couldn't make it but I know she sends her best and was playing her own version of the clothespin game somewhere that day. It was a lovely occasion and I was so touched by all the people that came to help me celebrate.

Thank goodness for people I actually have the ability to talk to because when it comes to socializing these days I'm usually batting zero. I can't tell you how many times over the past few months I've been in a situation and been like a deer in headlights. Basically, feeling like this:

It's as though my pregnancy came with a personality switch and every time I need to rise to the occasion in a new social situation the switch gets flipped off. I mean usually I can talk to a brick wall, but lately I got nothing. All I can think is dear lord, is this what it's like to be shy?! This is awful. I know I should be saying something, that I should be making conversation, but nothing is coming out.

That's why I'm taking time to savour the quiet, sweet moments. Table for 1 please:

Life can't be all coffee and doughnuts though, there is a lot of prepping and getting ready for baby girl. We started our antenatal classes where we learn all about labor, delivery, and practical parenting stuff. Men even have the opportunity to wear an "empathy suit":

No Adam has not worn it and is focused more on whether he can get laughing gas during delivery. We have met some nice people and since I hadn't really read very much of the what to expect stuff, I'm actually learning a lot.

Besides trying to maintain my sanity as the due date approaches we've gotten to do some much needed non baby related things in the past month too. One of the highlights include a visit from an old colleague of mine from Atlanta, Kathie, and her husband Paul. They stayed with us for a few days and it was so great to have them here. It's almost surreal to see someone from home in this setting because we go for so long without seeing familiar faces. It was a welcome treat and so fun to hear all about the trip around the world they are on.

We recently attended our first NZ Breakers basketball game:

I loved it! They played (and beat) the Townsville Crocs, an Australian team. It's the closest thing New Zealand has to the NBA and in the land of cricket and rugby, it was so awesome to see a real, live, basketball game.  
Another day we hit up NZ Sculpture on the Shore:
I'm also still involved in my volunteer work with the Burmese refugee family. Now that they are more settled we can focus on doing fun stuff together. I took two of the boys to the MOTAT, the Museum of Transport and Technology which I think they enjoyed. Along with the other volunteers on my team, one day we took the family on a picnic and to the park. Adam came along and it was nice that he got to meet them and witness an unfortunate but comical scene.  
So one of the volunteers was travelling with two of the Burmese boys and three of her grandchildren in her car. It had started raining and we were trying to find a covered playgroud so I am following this woman. She pulls up to a school and gets out, I park behind her. She comes to my window, mentioning nothing out of the ordinary, saying she will go in and check it out. Then one by one, all five of the the kids start piling out of her car, each throwing up or bent over coughing. Then we see one of the Burmese boys get out just covered in throw up. Obviously he had gotten sick en route and as is often the case, made others sick around him. 
His mother was in my car and she jumps out ready to wipe him down and then gets out the extra change of clothes she has brought along, ready for such an occasion. I know he is prone to car sickness because he tossed his cookies in my car one of the first days I met him (see July post What Goes Down Must Come Up). The good news is, shortly after everyone was fine and no one seemed to have trouble getting down the brownies I made.
My commitment ends next month and overall it's been a great experience. The family is doing well and I'm impressed at how they've adjusted. The language barrier has been tough, as I would really like to be able to get to know them more. You know as in communicating in the same language kind of way, but I knew that was part of the deal when I signed up. Despite this obstacle, it's been neat to see the rapport established, the warmth conveyed, and discover other ways to connect with people besides verbal language.
Hard to believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. We will be celebrating Turkey Day on Saturday with some other Americans. Our friends and family back home will certainly be in our thoughts. Ya'll have a safe and happy holiday. Gobble Gobble!


  1. You are awesome to still keep up the volunteer work throughout the pregnancy :-) Not much longer now - your finish line is in sight!

  2. This post is a work of art! Miss you so much Katie!