Wow, is it really six months since I wrote anything here...? I have had, over the months, a few jabs in the virtual ribs from people who would like to read more, which under normal circumstances would have polished my ego to a high shine and encouraged me to write more often - but these have been 'interesting times', as the Chinese curse goes.
I shall therefore sum up the last six months in one paragraph, not necessarily in chronological order though I will try, and with free poetic license to make things sound more dramatic than they actually were:
Christmas came and went, obviously without leaving any lasting impression because I can't remember it now; I worked in medical clinic; then I got a new job online, working from home - which I thought was great until I found out my boss is an immature, arrogant little man with delusions of grandeur and no people skills; my belly grew (I look back at those photos from November and marvel); the kitten grew until she didn't fit into Aquilito's mouth any more and she started to hit back; we had a freezing spell (well, freezing for summer) followed by a heatwave (high 30s every day for two weeks); I learned more than I ever wanted to know about franchising and search engine optimization for my online job; Joel struggled in vain to find any job worth doing for weeks and months on end, with all of the inclement woes unemployment entails; I started to despair that we would ever have our own place; I had an ultrasound and cried when I saw my baby's little face and hands; we spent three wonderful weeks in New Zealand catching up with friends and family and attending my little (ok, not so little any more) sister's wedding; Aquilito was given away by my mother-in-law while we were away; my belly grew some more; Joel turned 30; I threatened to quit my job because my boss really is insufferable, but didn't because it's really pretty convenient to work from home, and Joel didn't have a job, and we are about to have a baby, and I want my own house sometime soon, please; Miriam and Martin came to visit, and we tried to show them some of the nicer bits of this part of the country (famed for being boring), crossed over into Chile because we could, and just generally hung out; Joel got a good job finally(!), loves it and sees a future in it (shame it is in this town!); Miriam and Martin go to Iguazu and have to admit that it is awesome, even if it is a few days away by bus, and this reminds me again of how crappy this town is; we went to the mountains and looked at cool rock formations and waterfalls and I think I may have seen a condor; 25 of May was 200 years since Argentina declared they wanted to become independent from Spain - Buenos Aires put on the party of the century (make that bicentenary), Zapala did something rather limp and disappointing apart from the Gauchos and free hot chocolate which were super, and Neuquen cancelled their parade because it was spitting a little; it snows in May for the first time in many, many years - between 40cm and 50cm in one day, which then turns to slush the next day, and ankle-breaking-frozen-mud-slush-scary-falling-icicles with just enough white to look pretty where no one has walked the day after - which would be today. Phew.
So with the snow all turned into mud slushies outside, what I wouldn't give for a pair of gumboots! Can't believe I just said that... Bonny will be sad because she likes snow, mad little dog. She bounds around like a little brindle rubber ball, and only when she is ridiculously wet and freezing her little tubby butt off does she want to get under a roof, preferably in front of the heater. She has taken to following us into town and waiting outside the shop/bank/hospital/swimming pool and then walking us home again. She is very cute, but quite frustrating, because if you take too long wherever you are she heads off in search of more interesting happenings, and you are likely to run into her again at the bus station hanging with the bad dogs. Hmm.
I had my last ultrasound yesterday, having reached 37 weeks - technically full term. Everything looks good, all relevant organs in place, already weighing in at 3160 grams with three weeks to go (aaahhh! No more growing please, stay little and streamlined...) and head down, in position. We specifically said we didn't want to know the sex, and not to show us anything that might give it away - so the scan was focussed on kidneys and spinal column, and apparently everything looks good. I am large and in charge (well, not quite as in charge as I would like to be, or we would both be earning at least twice as much as we are, and living in our own house), but I feel pretty good - I have been lucky enough to have a very smooth pregnancy. Just the last couple of weeks have been getting a bit uncomfortable - my lungs are all squished up, my ribs hurt from something else squishing them, my belly is heavy enough to squash me if I lie on my back... But physically I know this will all be over in a couple of weeks - what is less comforting is the uncertainty of what comes after. I am finding it almost impossible to think beyond the birth. I feel more than a little unprepared, and this baby could arrive any time now... I have a cot but no car seat, lots of clothes but not enough fleecy blankets, an extra room I can use (to try to spread our little family out over more than just our bedroom) but no furniture to make the room useful, lots of things to organise but no time to do so in... I will work for another week all going to plan, but I have reduced my hours to five per day, to try and get some more rest - hah! Sleep, everyone is telling me how little I will get soon enough and how I should really get more now - but it is very hard to get comfortable so I don't sleep well at night, and at siesta I feel like I always have things to do, like today I have to write this blog...
Well, I shall now leave you with a few photos as counterpoints to my words, and although not much has been said I think you will agree that there are quite enough words anyway.
Best wishes to all!