Mel's Musings

21 October 2001

We are definitely on the homestretch now. Only a few more weeks to go and we will be a family of five. But more about that later...

We have been quite busy since my musings in July, although I suppose over the course of 3 months one would expect to have a bit to write about! We went for an extended weekend to Michigan to visit Lora Derks and her family. Lora was a Rotary Exchange student when she was 16 and stayed with my family for about six months, becoming a member of my family and another sister. After too many years to mention, it was fantastic to see her and meet her wonderful husband and children. Both of us were somewhat apprehensive, to say the least. However, it was as if we had seen each other only yesterday. Everyone got on really well and the whole Derks family are wonderful hosts. It certainly wont be so long between visits now.

Beth is now at pre-school 5 mornings a week. She goes to two different ones - both of which have their strong points. She is thriving on all the socialising and learning. Every day she seems to have a new friend and a new song and some artistic creation. Beth is also learning more of the local lingo and traditions such as "trash" and "cookies" and all about Halloween. It wont be long until the accent kicks in. I am finding it a bit of a challenge having to get to one or the other pre-school by 8.30 or 9.00 in the morning every morning. It was very easy to slip out of the working routine. However, we are getting there.

Jess seems to be thriving on time alone with me. Her speech is coming along quickly, probably as she and I are talking to each other more. She counts to 10 and says the months of the year. I think the alphabet is being attempted also, but not quite sure. Also, we seem to be doing more grown up things together. She is very independent and prefers walking to being in the pram. This is fine until she gets tired and wants to be carried - a bit challenging with my bump. I leave Jess in hourly care a few hours a week and she now loves it. The best thing is, I get home and both of the girls are shattered and fall asleep for a few hours. Long may that continue!

We have started doing some sightseeing in Washington DC now that the weather has cooled down and the crowds have abated. We visited the Korean and Vietnam War memorials and the Lincoln Monument (the one with Lincoln in the big chair). It is quite weird going to these places you see so often on television. They are real and not props. I checked! We also went to the Air and Space Museum, which amazed all of us. As soon as you walk into the foyer, you are presented with all sorts of milestones from the Wright Brothers aeroplane to various spacecraft. It was unbelievable.

The weather here is divine. It is cool, but the skies are generally clear and the sun is shining. The leaves are all changing colour and are gradually dropping off the trees, but not to any great extent yet. Each day I look out the window and cannot believe it is another perfect day. If I wasn't pregnant, it would probably be too cold, but I am so it isn't! Nick is delighted that it is cooler as the marathon is only a week away.

Now for the baby. I apparently have a very tidy bump (somewhat different to my previous bumps). I am very uncomfortable though and the description of a basketball is completely inaccurate - it is a medicine ball. As it is my third, I have no abdominal tone and hence the baby is feeling a tad heavy. I am quite keen to get it out. However, we found out this week that it is breech. This was a bit of a blow as I am not so sure they will even consider a natural birth if it stays breech and I really did not want another caesarean. We are going in next Friday to see if they can turn the baby and take it from there. This in itself has all sorts of risks attached, so we may be parents again as early as next week. Anyway, being fairly philosophical about it, my main concern is a healthy baby.

Forthcoming events (other than the pending arrival) include the USMC marathon, Halloween, Thanksgiving and then off to the UK for a couple of days and on to Australia for Christmas. This year we may indeed spend Christmas Day on the beach.

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