It's been 2 weeks since I last posted. Where has the time gone? Despite the glorious sunshine, it hasn't all disappeared in the garden where we did spend a lot of time. It has gone on various things, some nice, some not so nice. So let me give you an idea of what happened during those past 2 weeks:
- My jobseekers benefit ran out. I knew that would happen soon, I just didn't know when. I was never notified of the date. All I received was a long form back at the end of January, that I dully filled in and returned. But no letter advising me that my benefit would run out on such a date. So imagine my surprise when I went to collect my weekly pittance and discovered that it was not there. After a few phone calls, I discovered that they could not process my application as a form that establishes my 'habitual residence' wasn't accompanying the form. And how am I supposed to fill that in if there is no mention of it anywhere and it's not sent to me? Another sign of how efficiently the department of Social Protection is being run and how there is absolutely no consideration for the people behind the numbers. Anyway, the situation has now been sorted and the means test has been done, resulting in the loss of quite a few euros a week. I just find it quite ironic that on the same week I have to fill in that 'habitual residence' form, I also get the other form, you know, the one I get only because I'm not Irish and that has to do with Child benefit.
- On a nicer note, my mum and dad came to visit. My mum stayed for a few days while my dad stayed for the whole week (the joys of retirement!). The girls were really happy to see them, particularly Marie who had no idea that they were coming despite a few slip ups on our part. She thought I'd gone to the hospital for a check up when I was really gone to the airport. The look on her face was priceless!
- We finally got her communion dress and shoes in. After a bit of indecision on her part, she has finally made up her mind that she wanted to make her communion. So my mum and dad kindly went shopping with us and we found a lovely, simple and elegant communion dress, paired with lovely, simple and elegant shoes. I think you have all understood that we are going for simple and elegant as opposed to looks like this.
- We also had our first (and probably only) scan. And we can now confirm that the due date is the 7th of August (give or take a few days). We have also found out that we are expecting a little boy! That should round off the family very nicely. I'll just have to learn how to change nappies for boys and how to avoid nappy changing unexpected showers of pee.
- Noelie and myself developed quite bad kidney infections. Mine saw me take to my bed at 11.30 am on Saturday morning and not really get up until Sunday. The back pain was unbearable and made me walk like a 90 year old woman. We went to the doctor's on Monday and Noelie has now to complete a course of antibiotics for the next week. She has also turned to cranckometer to the highest setting, resulting in a fully blown tantrum lasting 3 hours last night as she was over tired and refused to go to bed (something we are definitely not used to!). And then, suddenly, she just lied on her back and fell asleep.
- We have spent a lot of time outside, gardening, taking walks to see the cows down the lane and enjoying the sunshine.
So, in a nutshell, these were the highs and lows of the past couple of weeks!