Saturday, January 31, 2009

Japanese Junk Food

McDonald's and Coca-Cola are about as American as you can get. But Japan does both WAY better we do!

Ever since we got here, people kept telling us to go to McDonald's and we just couldn't figure out why. But we finally did a few weeks ago and now we get it. It tastes SO much better here! Normally I would never eat Mickey D's, but here, it's a whole different story. Their oil is cleaner which means no nasty after taste or belly ache from your fries. The sandwiches actually look like the pictures -- every time! And the serving sizes are normal instead of gargantuan. Tim, Bennet, and I have been going on saturday mornings to get breakfast there because it's so yummy. I'm slightly addicted to egg McMuffins right now (which are actually fairly balanced and nutritious if you don't mind the cheese and white flour). They have a few interesting items on their menu here as well. Like for breakfast, you can get a biscuit muffin, or if you're feeling healthy you can go with the salad McMuffin (literally salad on an english muffin with a slice of bacon and cheese). They also serve german-style hot dogs and fish filets for breakfast. Later in the day, if you're not up for a Big Mac, you can always get an Ebi burger (a shrimp patty with all the typical fixins of a burger). I've not actually tasted the Ebi burger myself, but everyone tells me it's pretty awesome!

I'm not a big soda drinker, although I've missed diet coke since I became pregnant. And once in awhile I will indulge in soda, usually some coke. And when i do indulge, it's almost always out in town. Japanese coke tastes different - it's less sweet and it doesn't coat your throat with sticky sweetness because Japan uses sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. It's actually really refreshing and delicious!

I know this post is taking a turn from my norm (Bennet and preggo updates), but I figured you could all use a break from that. This is SUPPOSED to be a blog about our Japanese adventures after all.

OH...I almost forgot to tell you! Tim and I had octopus the other day! It was surprisingly good! Similar to squid, but a bit less chewy with a mild flavor. I figure, if I can eat calamari, I can surely eat octopus - even if the tentacles and suction cups are a little freaky!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Relax! Relax! Relax!

That's the doctor's order I got this morning. I've been having some Braxton-Hicks contractions lately. Probably due to the full social agenda that Bennet has been keeping me busy with. The doctor isn't too concerned as long as the contractions don't become more intense or too frequent. So for now, the official order is to let the house go and relax. Should be fine today, but tomorrow B has gym playgroup in the morning and then school in the afternoon. So I'll just do my best to get some rest in between, and of course, plenty of hydration.

Baby Boy's heartrate was 150 today, which is just perfect and my belly is measuring right on target too! So, it seems that other than the contractions, we're doing pretty well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bennet is going to school now!

And he loves it! He only goes for about 2 hours 3 days a week, but it's perfect! He really enjoys it a lot and it's nice for me to have a little quiet time to myself once in awhile. In fact, Bennet had so much fun on his first day, he didn't want to leave!! His teacher reports that he's doing well. But it seems he is testing them!! He pretends to not understand simple directions when he doesn't want to do something!! Don't worry, I made sure to let her know that this is only Bennet's OLDEST trick! hehe Poor kid is gonna be bummed out when he figures out they know what he's up to!!

We also joined the co-op at the gym! Bennet and I go there three times a week now. I work out for an hour while he plays with the other kids and then I watch the kids for an hour. It's really nice to get out of the house and Bennet loves socializing! Factor in his weekly playgroup and our bimonthly MOPs meeting (Moms of Preschoolers), and we've got one full social agenda!!

Baby Boy ____ (it wouldn't be fun if I didn't tease you all about his name!!) is quite active these days! He is laying outrageously low and I often have to contort myself into funny yogic positions to try and shimmy him up! Tim thinks it's hilarious and seems to be under the illusion that my birthing should be quick and easy since he's "hanging out near the exit". His words, not mine!!

I have an appointment for a prenatal massage in a week and I can't wait! They're offered here on base at the gym for a reasonable price and lord knows my aching body could use it!! I'll let you all know how it goes!

Oh yea...I'm 21 weeks now!! Past the halfway mark! WOOHOO!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snips & Snails or Sugar & Spice???

19 wk u/s foot
Isn't that the sweetest little foot you ever saw?

Well, we just got home from our (long) trip to Yokosuka for the BIG day! And Squiddy was ready for us! We got to the hospital and checked in for our appointment around 9 am. The sonographer took us back to the room and we all got ready to see how much Squiddy had changed in 5 weeks! We found out that the Squid is now a whopping 12 ounces and we even got to see our little one yawning and squirming around. It would seem that the softer kicks I've been feeling aren't actually kicks at all!! They were punches! It was really fun to see AND feel the movement. We also found out that my placenta is on the front of the uterus which means that it should be much harder for me to feel movement. Of course that has certainly not been the case. Although, it would explain why I never felt the flutters everyone talks about! I just started getting kicked from the get go.

19 wk u/s hand
That's a hand covering the face, in case you can't tell!

I suppose you're all waiting for me to get to the REALLY exciting part, huh? Well, it turns out that my fear of a modest baby was completely unfounded! We didn't have to search around at all, because Squids flashed us as soon as the ultrasound wand hit my belly!! Tim and I didn't even need the sonographer to tell us that we're expecting a sweet little BOY!! It was obvious!

19 wk u/s spine
How cool is that?

We are both so thrilled to welcome a second son! And Bennet is very excited that he is getting a little brother this summer! After the appointment, we headed upstairs to the maternity floor for a tour. It was nice to see where our son is going to be born and we got to talk to one of the midwives there. She is one of the two midwives on staff, so there is a very good chance that she could be the one attending our birth! We actually didn't know that the hospital had any midwives and were thrilled to find out! We're planning a natural birth and we'd had some anxiety about delivering with doctors who might not be as gung ho about it as we are. So that was a VERY pleasant surprise for us!

19 wk u/s face
And there's our sweet boy's face! Look at those chunky little cheeks!!

After that, we all trekked over the department store on base for a little (a.k.a. a LOT) of retail therapy!! We bought a play yard, some babyproofing stuff, socks, bibs, and about 10 outfits. Bennet even picked out a toy for his new baby brother! We all had a really good time oohing and ahhing over all the sweet baby things!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

47 hours!!

**I have no excuse for my bad blogging habits. And I'm not making anymore promises about when I'm going to start writing more regularly. So, think of it as a surprise when you get a new entry!! That will make it fun!**

On to the blog!!!!

Only 47 hours until we find out what "kind" of baby is in my belly!!! Tim is still holding firmly to his guess of "boy" and I still have a strong mother's intuition that it is definitely NOT a puppy or alien! As far as boy or girl, I really have no clue though.

Unfortunately for all you, you're going to have to wait a few days longer to find out! Since we're here in Japan and I'm high risk, I have to birth in Yokosuka (near Tokyo) and so that is where I have to go for this ultrasound. Which means that we won't be getting home until Saturday night (Saturday EARLY morning for those of you US dwellers). Good news (for Tim and I) is that the weekend we are in Yokosuka, their NEX (Navy department store) is having a big baby sale!! Ok, so really that is good news for me moreso than Tim, but that's really just semantics! I've been eyeing up all the cute, frilly dresses, and the adorable little boy rompers. Now we just need to find out which I should be buying!!!

In other news, Squiddy is becoming quite active!! He/she sleeps all morning, and then comes alive after dinner! Kicking, rolling, stretching, and even tap dancing at times! We've even had a few times that the Squid kid has stretched so hard that Tim and I could feel both ends of the baby!! Tim still has not felt any kicks yet, but that's only because EVERY time he puts his hand on my belly, Squiddy instantly calms down! Should be a GREAT trick after he/she is born, but for now, is annoying mommy who just wants Tim to feel a swift kick!!

We've also determined that Squids has his/her father's taste in breakfast foods! I've been craving cereal and cheese omelets. But not even the good omelets with cheddar, tomato, onion, and green peppers. No no no. Squiddy wants omelets a la Daddy (i.e. american cheese)!!! The natural, eco-friendly, organic-loving girl in me is outraged! But the belly has spoken! Tim has been known to make me an omelet at 11:00 at night so I don't have to go to bed hungry! How's that for romance?

Bennet is starting to get excited. He says hi to the baby now and is stil enraptured by all the babies we meet around base! He's also starting preschool and therapy next week. He's VERY excited!! I had wanted to try homeschooling with him for a few years, but he gets SO excited everytime we walk past the school, say the word school, or pull his backpack out of the closet. I think he's REALLY going to like it!!

And just for fun, here are some of Bennet's shining moments from the last few weeks!!