On the baby front, everything seems to be going along fine at the moment. There was a scare at the 20 something (I'm terrible with dates) week morphology scan where the sonographer found a bright spot in the babies bowel (called echogenic bowel, meaning quite uninventively, that the bowel is good at echoing ultrasounds) which meant we got really worried, and a rush appointment later that week at the Fetal Diagnostic Unit at Monash. After another ultrasound where a presumably higher paid sonographer confirmed that the bowel really was echogenic, we were ushered into an uncomfortable little room with a comfortable couch, armchair, strategically placed box of tissues and a dusty plastic plant to wait for the specialist to talk to us. A 40 minute wait later and the specialist turns up to tell us essentially that it's something that was unheard of 10 years ago, and has only now been discovered because ultrasound machines are really sensitive these days. Apparently, after much study, they've concluded that they don't really know what it is, what causes it, what it means, or what happens to it, but it doesn't appear to have any real correlation to anything significant and there are no lasting effects. So go home and pretend you'd never heard of it. In fact, if we'd had the original ultrasound done there we probably wouldn't have heard about it.
Taking the midwifery route through pregnancy seems to have been a good choice, although I obviously have a very limited basis for that decision. The midwives are very nice and helpful, and they offer many services which they encourage you to take advantage of, and I feel we get a better understanding of what's going on and more reassurance than we would have gotten with the traditional Ob-gyn route. The interesting thing is the difference in cost. Jacqui has a friend who is also pregnant who has private health insurance and doing the whole Ob-gyn thing, and it is costing them thousands of dollars, and from what I've heard we're getting the much better deal. We'll have a nice private room with an ensuite, fridge, couch and double bed and really excellent facilities, and all we have to pay is $75 for the ante-natal classes and $2 in parking each time we go for an appointment. Oh, and the last lot of ultrasound images we got on CD, which is really cool, I'll have to dig some out and post them when I can find it.
So we finally have a
As far as the actually getting of the house went, at our end things all went pretty well, and on the other end, the guy selling the place seemed to have a fair bit of trouble. We managed to get quite a good deal on the mortgage, 6.99% (which is pretty much nearly 1% less than the average market rate) with no fees of any kind. We did our own conveyancing, partly to save money, and partly because I'm jaded by the level of incompetence present in many businesses these days. It turned out to be a reasonably good deal, except for having to deal with the other guys conveyancer, who was incompetent. The vendor (i.e. seller) ran into trouble the day before settlement (which is a bad time to have problems) when he found out we weren't paying him enough money to discharge his mortgage, which meant he had to scrape up a couple of thousand dollars in a hurry. I think that was mainly caused by him not reading the fine print in his mortgage contract, although the fact that he owed $1,500 in overdue rates wouldn't have helped.
In the end it all went fine, and so now the only thing left is for us to sue him over failing to complete his part of the contract. Essentially, the decking out the back of the house is stuffed, it's all rotted through. When we put the offer on the house, we offered less money because the deck has to be pulled out and replaced, but the real estate agent added a clause to the contract saying the decking had to be properly repaired, and so we offered a bit more money and the vendor agreed to the offer and the terms of the contract and everything went ahead. Now we've discovered that the vendor has merely covered over the holes in the floor, and claims that counts as properly repaired, while there are still broken joists beneath them. I'm fairly confident it will work out in our favour, since we have an building inspection report from Archicentre saying that the decking needs to be replaced, but it'll probably be several months before we see anything of it.
I spent an awful lot of time in the last few months reading through legislation and acts on Austlii (which is an excellent source of legal information if you are happy with it in its raw form) figuring out what we had to do, what we could do, and what all the implicit things are involved in property sale.
There's a whole lot more I could say about the house, but it'd probably just bore everyone to tears (like you're not already). Feel free to IM me or track me down in RL if you want to hear more. I'll post photos of the house when I get a chance to take some.
So other than all that, work's going really well, and I'm missing all of my friends. I can't really do things on weeknights anymore, unless people are happy to wait until 7pm for me to get there. Weekends are all pretty good though (well not the next couple with moving, but after that) now that I've got a regular weekday job, so it'd be neat if we could catch up on a Saturday or Sunday semi-regularly. I've blown a wad of money at Milsims, so I have some boardgames now (although I'll never rival lukeii) so a games day or weekend would be neat if people were willing to treck out here (it's only Zone 2 (now) and then about a 10 minute walk) or else I could bring a few and treck in. Movie outings to Kino Dendy or Nova would also be cool, since I've discovered that mainstream cinema pretty much sucks these days. I'll try putting something on adventuration once the house moving thing has finished, although I'm curious to know how many other people would be interested in that kind of thing.