Sunday, 28 September 2008

Settling in for a wait

So another week down. Two and a bit to go and I'll be a mother of two. Can't pretend I'm not alternating between excitement and blind terror but as ankles swell and discomfort increases, the former is winning out. Bring on three hourly feeds, just let me lose the waddle!

Exciting news of the week is that our freight arrived. In tact. Which is always good. Of course, we have now gone from rattling around in an empty house to having stuff. Clutter, one might say. 

My portly state had the distinct upside of exempting me from unpacking. This was a first. The Good Man has a long and illustrious history of arranging business trips to coincide with the arrival of our goods. This time he took the day off and did the heavy lifting while I conducted from the couch. It was lovely. But a never-to-be-repeated performance, I fear. Anyway, I didn't go into labour which seems to have made it worthwhile.

In fact, the Good Man has been very good of late. He took Bambi to get her Halloween outfit yesterday - a pink, sparkly confection, complete with tiara and satin basket - and then spent the rest of the day in front of the football to reassert his manliness. And right now he's at Disney on Ice with his princess. Heaven only knows how much sport that will take to sort out.

Oh well, we continue to wait for Thumper. Will keep you posted...

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Up to date

Frankly, I've had enough of all this retrospective. I think I had in mind that I could update friends and family through my blog. But blogging (at least for me) isn't about travel tales and catching up - it's about pithy observation and social commentary. So my plan now is to provide a very potted version of our introduction to the US of A:

We now live in Virginia, but close enough to downtown DC that the Good Man cycles to work. The neighbourhood is leafy and the the neighbours have been extremely welcoming and helpful. I suspect we may be wallowing in suburban bliss...

Light switches work differently here. Up means on and down means off. Why? No idea.

Bambi has had her first encounter with a toilet flushing sensor (flushes when you move in front of the sensor, ie. stand up). It gave her one hell of a fright and now I can't persuade her to go to the toilet in public places - but she's become very disciplined about going before we leave the house.

Washington is far more beautiful than I ever imagined. Weekend activities so far have included Wolf Trap, boat trips on the Potomac, the Kennedy Centre open day (with Dan Zanes - oh so cool) and the Good Man regularly takes Bambi canoeing at Fletcher's Cove. I had never thought that the nation's capital would be so outdoor orientated.

Breakfast cereal without sugar is ridiculously hard to find in the supermarket. I eventually tracked down Weetabix - only available in the health food aisle.

This is an election year (fast approaching election month) and American politics and electioneering are absolutely unbelievable. But I'm sure I will be writing more about this later. At this stage I'm actually quite glad I do not have any right to vote here.

Our freight has yet to arrive. Bambi, however, has decorated our lounge with empty boxes which she has decorated with dayglo paint... and glitter. It's a look unlikely to catch on in Home & Garden and one of which we will undoubtedly be reminded for the remainder of our time here as we continue to brush sparkles from between the floorboards. But it is cheerful.

I am due to deliver Thumper via c-section on 14th October. This is not because, with 3 and a half weeks to go she is already estimated to weigh nearly 8 pounds (help!), but medically advised after an emergency c-section after a complicated (and long) labour with Bambi.  Wish me luck. If I go into labour before then, we're in trouble - no support network means relying heavily on planning. Labour is not part of the plan...

In all, this has been one of our easier moves. I suspect we'll be happy here. And I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

In transit

And because we never do things the simple way, the good family made a stop off. For a week. In Vienna.

Vienna is gorgeous and, at most times in my life, the perfect place to spend a week.  Music! Art! I even speak the language. So, the food's a bit heavy but even Bambi was able to navigate the menus and by the end of our stay had perfected her pronunciation of 'wurst mit pommes, bitte'.
Austria is now known as the Land of Sausage.

But... We did not have a car and, even with a really brilliant metro system, the amount of walking to get around was not great for my six month pregnant frame... or Bambi's three year old legs.

As recent postings have largely read like travel rags, we'll skip over the lowdown on the Prater, the House of Music, Stefansdom, horse drawn carriages and Danube cruises and go straight to Bambi's undisputed highlight... Schonbrunn Palace.

The Palace itself is big and imposing and can be toured. But what three year old wants to spend two hours looking at furniture. That said, the grounds are spectacular with loads of room to run. Here's Bambi running around the Gloriette...

And before you think I denied my princess any access to the palace, we did go to the children's museum. What a find! She got to play with period toys, braid period wigs and see how Imperial children lived. And, the biggie - she got to dress up. How cute is this....

And on the 5th of July (yes, we missed the 4th) we officially moved to the States.