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Things are always a little different in a foreign country… even one where they speak English (well, sort of) as their first language. I inevitabley have to ask people to repeat what they said because I don’t understand them.
We have now moved into the new flat… three bedrooms. Well, after the size of our bedrooms for the past two years, it’s kind of hard to think of these as bedrooms (the wee room in San Francisco where we slept in a loft bed being the one exception). Our bedroom is mainly a space for our “double” bed. I say “double” in a very broad sense as it’s really only a foot wider than a regular single bed. Guess I’d better hurry up and have this baby so that my belly will take up less room! Two very narrow “dressers” sqeeze up on either side between the bed and the lovely lavender-coloured walls. A small wardrobe takes up the one free corner. I guess the new baby’s only option will be our big suitcase at the end of the bed!;-) When I think of my bedroom, I think, “I could fit you in my pocket!” Well, almost. Aria’s room is the same size, but arranged slightly differently as we had to squeeze her crib, or “cot” as they call them, in the room along with the double bed. Maybe I should mention that this is a furnished apartment that we are living in: many advantages, a few disadvantages. But Aria loves her crib and seems quite pleased with her new room.
Space is something that confuses me. I didn’t think we had much stuff until we moved into this flat. It’s not that Jessica and Nathaniel have loads of stuff themselves. And we really don’t either considering we seem to always move by car or plane. Storage just doesn’t seem to be a consideration in this part of the world. After all, who would think that under a bed is a bad place to store stuff? Well, our beds (and I was told that this is typical here) come within an inch of the floor. One couldn’t even store a school binder under them! So I have had to let my creative juices flow to the max in order to find a place for everything. The top of the wardrobes are utilized to the utmost and under Aria’s crib is a perfect place to keep our shoes. The wide windowsills seemed ideal to keep our books on until John noticed that the moisture from the windows was getting them wet. Oh stink! They now occupy the narrow space of floor between the wardrobe and the door.
One lovely surprise was the discovery that our washer was actually a washer/dryer combo. With the space issue, I’d been almost beside myself trying to think of places to hang wet laundry and had visions of cloth diapers endlessly draped across every piece of furniture as they would constantly be drying. The discovery of our little gem (the washer/dryer) gave much elation to my spirit. True, a full load here is more like a smaller-sized medium load in the States, and one can only dry a half load at a time: to wash and dry a complete load of laundry takes aproximately four hours; however, this is a small thing in light of what could have been and I am ever so grateful.
I have now been to see a nurse or midwife or doctor a total of four times. My first appointment, which was to register under National Health (medicine is socialized here) and see a nurse, was the day after we arrived. Every two days for the next week I had an appointment with someone or other about something or other. So now I’m set. No appointment for two weeks, but I’m in the system and know where to go when I hit labour. Woohoo! I had my third ultrasound on Tuesday (the first two were in the States)—overkill if you ask me, but I have no complaints in admiring the shadowy form of my baby on screen. Aria hates the ultrasounds though. Many tears are shed on her part as she sees her mummy lying down with a weird instrument sliding across her belly. This time, a kind nurse came in and distracted her while we surveyed the baby—already approximately seven and a half pounds. How does this happen to me?!?
Guess that’s the latest on my life. I’m enjoying the wonderful accessibility of the town centre and even at my slower pace, I can make it there walking in twenty minutes or less. I also have figured out how to use the local bus, though the first time I tried to use it, I felt like I was chasing it around the neighbourhood before I finally missed it and settled for the next one ten minutes later!

9 Responses to “Adjustments”

  1. susana
    January 19th, 2007 10:50

    Hi Rachel, so glad to hear that you are settling in and are comfortable with your preparations for the new little one. Stay well and happy….much love, nona

  2. Kelly Sherman
    January 21st, 2007 19:01

    So glad to here your family is settling into your new home. Let John know we miss him at the Credit Union. I wish your family my very best during this exciting time. Kelly

  3. Kerry Bowman
    January 21st, 2007 21:04

    I love reading your blogs Rachel! I always think I should leave a comment, but don’t ever do it. So here’s a first :> Anyway, I wanted you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers as the big day approaches for your new little one to arrive.

  4. Jayne Gilge
    January 24th, 2007 04:42

    We are praying for that little dark one and you. We miss you. Give Aria a big hug from us.
    Dean & Jayne

  5. Melanie Szymanowski
    January 29th, 2007 21:26

    Hi Rachel,
    Looks like we spoiled you two a little too much with all the space we gave you! 🙂 But you are good at being creative…I can just imagine what it must look like in that flat. We are praying the new baby comes soon!

  6. Yve Abbott
    February 1st, 2007 09:19

    Hi Rachel

    Steven told me you guys had a website, what a discovery. A great resource to share your lives and a feb way for us to get to know you both better.
    We love you and think it is great that God has brought you to our little part of the universe – Paisley, Scotland.
    Looking forward to getting to know you better.
    Big higs

  7. Tara Hills
    February 4th, 2007 21:01

    Oh Rachel:) I’m smiling and praying all at the same time. I can really relate from having been in England and in Spain. Good points, not so good points. I’m relieved to know that you’re set for birth — suitcase/bed is ready and momma’s set to go anytime! We’re eagerly anticipating the happy classof05 email to come soon! And hopefully mine to you will be right around the corner;) We love you and miss you and are praying for you! Love,
    Tara & fam

  8. Jayne
    February 6th, 2007 02:29

    Any baby yet? We keep cheking every day

  9. Rachel
    February 7th, 2007 07:39

    No baby yet! So nice to be hearing from people… and I’d better have some news to share soon or I’ll go crazy!

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