Turns out the counter agents at United are a bunch of idiots, well one in particular actually. He managed to put my bags on the correct plane initially, but then saw fit to assume which airlines I'd be flying onward from LA. Fortunately I had that agonizingly long layover during which I had to extricate baggage from Air Nui (New Caledonian Air), and get it to Air Pacific (Fiji). No small task, but accomplished with about 45 minutes to spare.
The layover in Fiji gave me a lovely taste of what I'm in for in Vanuatu weather-wise. It was about 5 am when we landed there and it was about 30 degrees c and humidity like I haven't felt since living in Townsville. NZ by comparison is cool. Weather in the 20's, chilly at night, but the sun is Southern Hemisphere HOT. The boys are toasting up to a lovely shade of brown, Ryan persists in getting RED every day and complaining bitterly about it at night. Lots of swimming, playing on wild NZ playground equipment which would be deemed MUCH too dangerous in the States, and yesterday we wandered around the Sea Lion colonies here at Kaikoura - Miles of stunning blue water beaches on one side and towering mountains (complete with a touch of snow) only a few short miles away on the other. It's lovely.
Earlier this week we enjoyed the hospitality of lovely M, her partner T and baby Noemi and midwife/preceptor Sue. It was so nice to finally meet her (will update blog roll accordingly - terrible omission). They were kind enough to hook me up with my 2nd trimester ultrasound which was, suffice to say, considerably less expensive here than it would have been in the States ($65ish versus $300-odd). I'm not sure if it was a combination also of NZ's less litigious attitude, or excellent scanners which seemed so much better than any I've had before, but we scored a rockin' ultrasonographer who was happy to talk me through the whole scan, pointing out the findings I was most interested in (4 chamber heart, all outflow tracts lovely, kidneys, diaphragm, etc. etc.). It was fun watching her chase this new little person around. While we hadn't quite decided to discover the gender, it was all rendered moot within about 2 minutes when he decided to point his bum right at the transducer beam and well, all mystery was swiftly lost. I should note that this scan also served to determine that there is but one fetus in residence which makes me very happy indeed.
So with that sorted I give you the obligatory creepy ultrasound pic of wee baby #3. It seems I am destined to be mother to legion sons.
Internet access sufficient to update blog is spotty here in NZ, and quite expensive... You may not hear from me again till I land in Vanuatu. Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa - hope you and your families are warm and safe, and your tables full of delicious things this holiday. Here comes 2009!
Catch you on the flipside.