I'm 17 weeks today and have been feeling some movement for about a week now. It was only here and there, but now I'm feeling it daily. Just little pokes and jabs once in awhile, but it's so cool!! I also had my first braxton-hicks contractions. Not painful at all, but it was cool to feel exactly how my uterus is lying now. It's all the way up to my belly button now!
We also made our appointment for THE ultrasound! January 9th at 9am! Let the countdown begin! Tim and I are, of course, VERY excited to find out if Squiddy is a boy or girl. But we have gotten even more anxious to find out as we have FINALLY settled on names!! So, instead of finding out if it's a boy or girl, we'll be finding out exactly who is in there! Of course, we are going to be mean and not tell any of you what those names are. But take comfort in knowing that Baby Nelis WILL have a name when it's born!
...that we're expecting the cutest, smartest, wittiest baby ever!!
I mean, look at that nose and the little fingers curled into a teeny tiny fist!! Ugh...so cute it hurts!!
And already sucking it's thumb! How flipping precious is that? We even saw Squiddy get the hiccups! And he/she graced us with a beauty pageant wave and showed us all five little fingers! Feel free to ooh and ahh all you want! We certainly are!
Well, we got on a list to get into a bigger house about a week ago, and today we were offered a three bedroom apartment in the building that we were hoping for, no less! It's one of the two newly renovated buildings on base and it's right next door to the school that Bennet will be attending. It's closer to the middle of base too and there is an adorable park right out the front door! We're very lucky to have gotten in so quickly, but that means that we are moving very soon now!!
Unfortunately, Tim is going to be on a business trip from Sunday until the 18th of this month. So we have to have everything moved into the new place by Saturday night and I'll have to take care of having our current place white-glove clean for the final inspection next week. We'll get the keys to the house Thursday and will start slowly taking over boxes then. Saturday will be the big move day when we get a few friends to help us with the furniture. And then I'm on my own for unpacking and settling in. I hope to have the house up and running by the time Tim gets back from his trip.
So what does this mean for all of our family members? Well, since I had planned to wrap and mail all of your gifts this week, it means that I will be sending them a full week later than I had planned. So you may or may not have your packages in time for Christmas Day....I'm sorry!!! I will have them sent out by the 13th though, so it will be a REALLY close call!!!
This was very unexpected for us!! We were initially told that we would not get into a 3 bedroom until February, so it was a shock to hear today that we're moving THIS WEEK! We're very excited though since the new place is significantly larger and Bennet will have his own dedicated playroom! I'll take some pictures for you all as soon as we're moved in and settled. Until then, posts will (again) be scarce!
Hope not!! Because we haven't been doing too much exploring around Japan lately and the pregnancy is really all that's going on with us right now!!
We've got our next appointment on Thursday. It's my 15 week appointment, but I'll technically be only 14 1/2 weeks. But Tim is going to be gone on a business trip for a week and half so I scheduled it early because he really likes to be there for all the doctor appointments. We don't have an ultrasound scheduled this time though. Our next isn't until mid-January. I'll be 20 weeks then and we should be able to find out the gender then!
In the last few days, I've started feeling quite a bit better and my appetite has finally returned!! And it had returned in a big way!!!! Which is great because a woman of average weight pre-pregnancy is recommended to gain 25-35 pounds throughout the pregnancy. And since I lost 15 pounds in the first trimester, I need to regain those 15 PLUS the recommended 25-35 which will be quite a feat in a mere 6 months! Luckily the morning sickness seems to have flown the coop and I am back to cooking healthy, filling meals. My goal in the first tri was just to eat, now my new goal is to eat HEALTHY! I'm also getting back into my walking routine and prenatal yoga. I'm really beginning to enjoy this pregnancy so much more now that the mind numbing fatigue is edging off and the nausea is finally dissipating!
Oh, by the way, now that I am 14 weeks (in 4 hours), Squiddy is about the size of a lemon and is covered in fine hair. The Squid is moving a lot too now, though I can't feel it yet.
Oh, and I'm officially in maternity clothes only now...and my high heels are shivering in their storage bin in the storage shed. *sigh*
We just got home from Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's home. They were wonderful enough to invite us to their home, thus sparing the poor pregnant woman from having to cook and clean up after Thanksgiving dinner. I am VERY thankful to them!! I decided to include two belly shots, as I've had a few requests and this is the first week that I feel like I have some belly to show. They are both from today (13 weeks 3 days), one before the turkey dinner, and one after. You'll notice QUITE a difference between them!
So today is the official beginning of the second trimester! Unfortunately, I am still exhausted and not feeling quite myself. Though it's not nearly as bad as the first trimester! Squiddy is now about 3 inches long and can suck his/her thumb!! My belly is starting to pop out and I am officially in the in-between stage where nothing fits me! My pre-preggo clothes are a joke, and maternity clothes are like tents! So I wear the same pair of yoga pants everyday! Which is no big deal, because I'm still too tired to leave my house! So no one is the wiser! I have another appointment in two weeks, but no ultrasound planned until the BIG one at 20 weeks. I recently made our first Squiddy-specific purchase: a new, gorgeous, sling to carry the little darling in! Granted, I already have a lovely black and white one that is perfect for carrying a large tot in. But it's just a wee bit big for a newborn. Not that my shopping craving has subsided in the least! Now I'm searching for the perfect wrap for summer! GypsyMama makes a gorgeous light weight batiked wrap that is perfect for carrying a baby in the hot summer months. I know EXACTLY which pattern I want, and now I'm just searching for it used!
We're making plans now to visit our very good friends in Guam in late February as a sort of "babymoon" before we officially become a family of four. We're really looking forward to seeing them and it will be a nice break from the cold weather we've got here!
In other news, my college room mate got engaged last week and is planning a summer 2010 wedding!! So, those of you who know Jo, wish her congratulations! She is going to be a gorgeous bride!
Bennet is currently in the throes of the terrible three's. About a week after his birthday, the body snatchers came and took my sweet darling and left behind a whirling tornado with a ferocious attitude! Despite the fact that he does not yet say the word "no", he's mastered the dirty look and angry shout that so clearly lets us know EXACTLY what he thinks of us!
Tim is busy working long days, but he always makes the time to come home and spend his lunch break with us! He's become quite the chef lately as well! He's really taken to his new role as Expectant Daddy (a.k.a. slave to the gestating queen) wonderfully!!
And our appointment went great!! The obstetrician decided that we will be able to deliver Squiddy at the (semi) local Naval hospital instead of having to travel to Okinawa for the second half of the pregnancy!! We also got to peek in at Squiddy today. I couldn't see the screen very well, but Tim got to see the baby's heartbeat. He even saw him/her moving!!! I'm pretty jealous, but we got a great picture so I'm ok with it!
That's Squiddy's head on the left and body to the right. The legs and arms are curled up so you can't really see them. But if you look hard, you can see the face!!
Oh yea, Squiddy is officially no longer an embryo today, but a full fledged fetus!!
So, I thought the queasy feeling I had 24/7 since 4 weeks was the full swing of morning sickness. Over the weekend, however, I learned that I was oh so wrong! For your sake, and so I don't have to relive it, I'll skip details and just let you all know that you shouldn't expect to hear from me for the next few weeks!!
So, do you remember back about 2 weeks ago when I complained about the Iwakuni funk? Well....I lied.....
We found out on September 18th that Bennet is going to be a big brother!! Actaully it was EXACTLY one month since we had arrived in Japan, so this little bean really IS our "Iwakuni Funk"!!
Now, on to more important things...I'm just shy of 8 weeks along. Baby Nelis is due in early June and has already been wreaking havoc for his/her poor mommy! Tim has been wonderful the last few weeks, cooking, cleaning, and doing everything for me! I've been too sick and exhausted to do anything at all really!
Sorry for the poor quality of the picture!! Our household goods still aren't here so our scanner isn't here. Which means that I had to take a picture of the ultrasound!! No big deal though. You get the gist! We are in love already and Tim has lovingly nicknamed our child "Squid"!
Well, we've been very busy with all the birthdays around here! Bennet's was really fun, then there was mine, then Bennet's party (the wild dinosaur disco), and this weekend will be Tim's. Of course, I have lots of pictures, but they aren't uploaded yet, so you'll have to bear with me!!!
Unfortunately, I've had the Iwakuni funk, as it's affectionately referred to here. Apparently some people start feeling junky about a month after they arrive in Iwakuni. I've heard a LOT of different reasons for this from many people (none with any actual medical background). My favorite possibility is dust from China blowing into Japan!! Other people have told me it's different germs, or plants, or food, or water. Who knows?! But basically, I don't feel so hot! So don't expect too much blogging until this lets up! Sorry!
So as all of you *should* know, Japan is a nation of left-side drivers. This was not one of my main anxieties when we were still stateside. Only because I had far bigger fish to fry at that point. However, now that we're here, it's a priority-one neuroses. As stated in another post, we walked the equivalent of about 8-12 Mt. Fujis while waiting to get our driver's licenses. While we b*tched and complained the whole time, I must say that had it not been for the painful amount of walking, I may never have conceded to try driving here. But it's darn hot here and I was finally ready last week! So my sponsor put her life in my hands and gave me her car keys. I think maybe she trusts me too much, but we'll get to that later!
She was lovely enough to take me around base and not laugh too much when I tried to signal my intent to turn with my windshield wipers. All in all, it was not too bad! But, I had only driven on base! Saturday, I took a crack at driving out in town. And for the most part, I did great! I did not hit a single car, pedestrian, or biker! Which, if you've ever driven down a one lane back country road and had the entire tour de France bearing down on you, you'll know is quite an achievement. Except that I was not on a one lane back country road -- no no, this was a two lain main drag in back-country-road disguise! But like I said, we got to our destination in one piece! My confidence was squashed however, when I couldn't find the courage to try parking in the insanely tiny spaces in the parking garage. I had about 25 Japanese cars in queue while Tim and I switched seats so he could park us...
Just so that I am not leaving you with an image of me at my incompetent best, I'll tell you the story of Tim's first drive out in town! (Though this story still doesn't make me look good...)
We decided to take the short cut home (pause for you to roll your eyes), and of course we got lost. In Japan. Where we speak only enough to tell someone we cannot speak Japanese (soo glad that was the first phrase on our "Learn Japanese" tapes). Tim eventually figured things out, while I cried in the front seat (that's the part that I'm not proud of). But, we did end up on the wrong side of the bridge, which sounds sinple enough, right? Just cross the bridge. Well, to get to the other bridge, you have to drive down a VERY windy road with tall trees on either side that is about wide enogh for 1 1/2, MAYBE 1 3/4, cars to fit through. And it's windy, so visibility is not so great. And everyone driving down the road is going 40 kpm. So, Tim pulled over, and I cried again. Eventually we decided to turn around. On the drive home, I closed my eyes and let Tim deal with getting us back, which he did.
We've been here for a little over two weeks now and in that time, Tim estimates that we've walked about 500 miles. Not really, but maybe 100 (for real!). Grocery shopping on foot was my favorite. One screaming toddler, enough food for 3 people for as many days as I could carry, in humidity that makes a former resident of Pensacola whine, at a grocery store a mile from home translates into an afternoon of fun! And that's just grocery shopping! There was also checking into every building on base, running errands, buying a car, not to mention exploring town! Tim and I made the extremely dumb mistake of deciding to WALK into town! We'd gone on a bus tour and figured that the walk wasn't that far! HA! We arrived home 6 hours later, sweat-drenched and with feet that had gone on strike 2 miles back.
So you can imagine my elation, when the car dealer called yesterday afternoon to say that the car we purchased is ready to go!
I dragged Bennet (screaming all the way, mind you), one last time, through the streets of base, before we crawled into that air conditioned haven and drove off on the left side of the road. And it was good!
On Saturday, we took our first real day trip into Japan. We decided to go to Miyajima, a small island about 25 minutes away by train. The island is famous for it's floating Torii, oysters, and maple leaf-shaped treats. To get there, we walked off base to the bus stop, took the bus to the train station downtown (only a 5 minute ride), hopped a train to Miyajimaguchi, and from there took a ferry to the island.
It was a gorgeous, albeit hot, day to walk around the village. Bennet loved the train so much, he cried when we got onto the ferry. Of course, once the ferry started moving, he loved it and cried when we got off the ferry!!
I'd been warned about the deer in Miyajima before we went but it still surprised me! They are very friendly. In fact, they let us pet them! It was really cool, and Bennet thought they were dogs! He even said "woos woos" to them (his version of barking!).
From there we headed to the covered shopping area. There were so many shops with some really interesting things to buy. The street vendors had squid on a stick (which I'd like to try, but I figure I should pace myself...we do have three years after all), fried oysters (which I really do want to try, but it was August 31st, and I was taught to eat oysters only in months ending in -er), and momiji-manju. Momiji-manju are the maple leaf-shaped treats I mentioned. They are like a sweet pancake filled with bean paste or cream cheese. We had the ones with cream cheese since none of us are fans of bean paste. On a side note, bean paste is a very popular filling for Japanese desserts. We also met an english class full of kiddos. They were really cute and asked us some questions.
Bennet, of course, made friends along the way. One sweet little old lady held his hand and commented on his long eyelashes. Then he met a little girl out with her mom and grandma. He's quite a hit in Japan already!
After having some lunch, we walked to the aquarium. The aquarium there is being closed for renovations in December for 3 years, so it was a priority to go there. They had some great animals, but the facilities were so-so. We saw porpoises, sea lions, sharks, and penguins. In fact, the penguins come out to meet the people a few times a day. Bennet got so excited he ran through the crowd, shoving people out of his way, and straight up to the penguin. Of course, that meant that I had to run through the crowd, shoving people out of the way, to get him back. It was embarrassing. But I got to practice my Japanese. Gomensai means I'm sorry.
We didn't go through the temple or up the mountain to see the monkeys. It was really hot and we figured since the island is so close, we will be back often. We're planning to come back for Tim's birthday to hike the mountain. So we'll have more pics then. For now, here's some from the weekend.