It is 2012, by more than a week, and I haven't done anything that I promised myself I would and indeed have a lot of things pending from 2011. My house is clean (enough), the laundry gets done, my boys are fed and... no that's about it. I used to be such a motivated and responsible person. I wrote that on innumerable CVs and had it repeated in many references from satisfied employers. Now that I am my own boss, I must say I am a bit disappointed in the calibre of my employee (just between you and me, the boss is a bit of a witch as well).
And to all those people who I used to be in frequent touch with, whom I used to regale with stories of my exploits in foreign lands: I'm not shunning you! But the combination of running around after one of the most full-on, full-speed-ahead, full-tilt and full-time toddlers I have ever heard of (don't most kids take a breather from time to time?), third trimester fatigue, and the hottest weather I have ever experienced on a daily basis has sapped me of all energy. When Arne's lights go out, so do mine. I can't see the foreign correspondent situation improving either, because by the time the weather cools down I will have a newborn, who will then become a toddler just as my toddler becomes a pre-schooler. I'll write home when the kids have moved out, ok Mum?
So here is my latest little collection of short updates, which I would have fleshed out if I had the energy to stay up late, but I don't, so I didn't...
House and Garden:
* We have shared the main gate for the last two months with a wasps' nest. We vowed to get rid of it, resolved to google how to get rid of it, decided to take firm measures against it, realised it would probably spell curtains for our grape crop, and still did nothing about it. Now it's full of eggs.
* Did I mention the heatwave? We put our cooking thermometer on top of the cathouse roof (long story short, the dog ran away with the dog equivalent of the gypsies and the cat got new digs) and it got up to 49° in the sun. It hasn't dropped below 29° in our living room for the last two weeks, even at night. Oof.
* I hate my (borrowed) sewing machine. It makes all my fantastic ideas turn to crap and saps me of all inspiration and motivation to keep on creating. I am the first to admit that I am not the world's best seamstress, but the machine of Satan sabotages everything! Gah!
* We planted grass in the back yard, after digging up the old lawn which had dried out and gone all stalky and hard while Arne and I were away and Joel was recovering from his operation. Then the heatwave hit, and the seeds all got cooked. Now the backyard is baked hard as clay. and all that came of a kilo of lawn seeds and clover are three little wispy blades that popped up in the only shaded spot. Gutted.
* Arne learns a new word or two every couple of days now, even if many of them sound much the same, or are hilariously truncated. "Dut" means at least three different things, and the onus is on YOU to work it out from context. Latest additions are "does" (toes), "ototo" (helicopter), "eeps" (peach), "outz" (ouch) and "ops" (oops).
* Arne's babble sounds like Arabic. A popular phrase is "a-rin-de-rin-de-rey-a-rey-a-rey", where all the 'r's are back-of-the-throat type glottal sounds - where did he even hear this? Another favourite is "bee-oo-wee-oo", repeated a few times with the back of his hand pressed to his forehead and his fingers waggling. Um, translation?
* Arne's favourite toys are now four chunky little Tonka trucks (or two trucks, a car, and a helicopter to be precise) he got from his uncle Jeremias for Christmas. They are the first things he asks for when he wakes up, and if one of the two red ones is missing we have to look for it before he will go to bed at night. When he has a bad dream or disturbed sleep, he wants to sleep with the fire truck. I am too scared to let him take them outside for fear of what would happen if we lost one, or it was somehow broken. Pressure!
* Water: best pass-time ever. 'Nuff said.
* I have managed to completely forget to take bump shots of baby number two for over six months. Better take some photos while I still look pregnant...
* Sleeping is impossible. I have to sleep on my side (I was always a tummy sleeper), and have a pillow for my head, a pillow for my bump, a pillow between my knees to keep my back straight and a pillow under my feet to reduce swelling. Turning over is a logistical nightmare.
* We drove Jeremias to Chile last week, he's going to be working there for the next couple of months. It was Arne's first time in Chile on the 'outside', having been twice when I was pregnant with him. It was hot there too, but so green in comparison to where we live. It also reminded me a lot of New Zealand - green hills, pasture, volcanoes. A visual breath of fresh air.
* Did you know that tonic water gets its distinctive bitter flavour from quinine, which the Brits in India mixed with water and took to combat malaria? Hence the name, Indian Tonic Water. Could it be the most refreshing drink ever? I think so.
Um... The end, really.