Friday, April 29, 2011

Tomorrow is D-Day

Well, tomorrow is April 30th, or D-Day for Baby K. I really thought I would have had this baby by now because Miyako was about 4 days early. You just assume the second one will be like the first, but not so. Maybe by writing this post I will jinx myself into labor. :) Yesterday my mother-in-law from Kyoto came to stay with us and help. Miyako has taken to her very well. Mommy-chan is a classic pianist so she and Miyako have been having concerts on Miyako's tiny piano with all of her Minnie Mouse dolls as the guests. Today we walked up to Ginza (hoping to spur on labor but not so much) and had lunch and did a little shopping. We found a store with a Snoopy line and Miyako was in heaven. She picked out a T-shirt with Snoopy and Schroeder on it...big surprise. There was also a bear in the store that Miyako warmed up to. Enjoy the pics.

As for Baby K, I am not just "dying" to have this baby, but I am ready to meet him or her. My main prayer request is that it would be very clear when I need to go to the hospital. And for an easy delivery, but Eve kind of put a damper on that for me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Well, no Easter Bunny baby K for us. We are still preggers. We had a very relaxing weekend. Saturday it rained all day so we stayed inside and played. We enjoyed a pizza party that night with our friends from the Netherlands. Sunday we had a special breakfast - pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I know it sounds more like a Halloween breakfast but Miyako loves them, as do I, so we make them for special occasions all year long. I did make Miyako an Easter basket but it was not very traditional. She had been asking for these strawberry plastic bowls from the 100 yen shop next door, so this was her "basket." No chocolate bunnies or Reese P-nut butter eggs (I ate all those:) - instead she got Anpanman rice crackers and Minnie Mouse stickers. But she enjoyed it so that is all that mattered. We had a fabulous Easter worship service at church. It is always nice to be with the community of believers. I will admit though - I missed our Easter weekends in Knoxville with cousins and Easter egg hunts. On Sunday morning Kan and I watched the U-tube video of Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill singing "How Great Thou Art." I told Kan, "I know I will enjoy church today but after listening to this song, I will miss the traditional Easter hymns in an American church today." And I did a bit, but that is ok.

Miyako seems to be a bit more clingy for mama the past few days. I think she senses things are really about to change as we talk about Mama being in the hospital with the baby when it comes...trying to prepare her. She wants to sleep with mama and have mama by her side a lot more than normal. We originally planned to set up the pack and play in our room until the baby was sleeping through the night and then they would share a room. However, I do not want Miyako thinking she is left out when the baby "sleeps with us." So, since I never bought a table for our entryway to show case photos and store things, you may see a pack and play in our empty space in the hallway. That is fine by me - I have never been one to enjoy having babies sleep in our room. I think when Miyako was a week old, she slept one night in her Moses basket in our room and I told Kan never again unless we are traveling. I hear every little gurgle and the little amount of sleep you get in the beginning phases...well, I want it to be quality if it cannot be quantity. :)

Enjoy the pics of Easter. Miyako picked out her hat and we thought she looked very Tokyoish. She also is enjoying her new Snoopy doll from my friend Sally. He plays the "Charlie Brown Theme Music."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We have been doing a lot of this lately...

Needless to say, I am pretty tired these days, so we have had some lazy mornings. But if there is one thing I like, it is snuggling with Miyako-chan. Yesterday she told us she wanted to name her baby brother "Snoopy." We got a kick out of that. She still claims we are having a baby brother. I hope she is not too disappointed if it is a baby sister.

Miyako is so much fun these days. We color, play with play-doh, go to the mall next door or the park, read books, learn letters on the internet...lots of fun. She is talking non-stop and repeats everything! The other day she was leaning up against her play piano like Lucy does against Schroeder's piano on a Charlie Brown video. Then she started saying, "That stupid piano" as that is what Lucy says because the "stupid piano" takes all of Shcroeder's time and he does not focus on Lucy. I think we will have to stop watching that episode of Charlie Brown. It has a little too much drama for my already dramatic 2 year old.

I am waiting expectantly to meet the newest addition to our family. At the same time, it feels a bit bitter-sweet knowing Miyako will not be my "baby" anymore. The thought of going to the hospital without her, well, it just makes me a bit sad. But, I am also thrilled to be adding to our family...just trying to savor each moment as a family of three before we become a family of four.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Fun-Filled Weekend

We had a great weekend! I am 38 weeks along so the countdown is on, but truly I am not counting. In some ways I am so over being pregnant. In other ways, I am dreading the sleepless nights and simply running after two instead of one. So I am trying to enjoy each minute as a family of three before we become a family of four. I have included a 38 week photo for your viewing pleasure. Thankfully you cannot see my swollen right ankle/cankle.

Saturday we had some of Kan's co-workers and their spouses over for lunch. We ordered in KFC and they each brought sides, along with this HUGE cake to congratulate us on our next baby. It was a lot of fun. Miyako enjoyed all the attention. She played the "animal game" with them. They put her in her rocking chair and she asked for all of her animals to sit with her. At one point, all you could see was her little face. Today, Palm Sunday, we ventured to a park nearby for a picnic with some friends from church beforehand. Miyako is sporting her reggae hat with her flower child outfit and sunglasses. She had a ball running around the large park. It was such a beautiful weekend here in Tokyo. I love spring time, especially here, as you get to enjoy the cherry blossoms. In spite of all that has happened in the past 6 weeks to this country, it was nice seeing people out today enjoying their friends and families.

And on a funny note, Miyako said the following tonight while we were praying, "And thank you that Daddy has a job and Mama doesn't." I think she meant to say, "And thank you that Daddy has a job and Mama gets to stay home." :) You just never know what will come out of her mouth.

Well, Miyako is in bed and it is time for chicken fried rice and a movie. Tonight we are watching The Social Network. Now that American Idol is getting down to 7 people, I told Kan we cannot wait until Sundays to watch it. It has been moved to our Friday night TV. I cannot stay away from the internet all weekend and too many people ruin the results whether it be entertainment headlines or friends on facebook!

Good Night all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Well, we marked the one month anniversary of the earthquake today guessed it, another earthquake. I think the magnitude at the epicenter up north was 7.1, maybe higher. We did feel it in Tokyo. I was cooking dinner when the alarm went off. I immediately grabbed Miyako and called Kan. He helped me remain calm and said he would be home ASAP. It really was not that bad, but to have it happen exactly one month later, with a similar day as March 11th for us, kind of freaked me out. And as you may recall, the 11th of each month is my scrapbook day. Miyako was a champ. She did ask to go outside, but she did not cry. I told her we were having another earthquake and she needed to sit with mama. She asked to go to the Snoopy house...this is the neighbor who took us in during the last earthquake. Miyako refers to it as the Snoopy house because they gave her a towel with Snoopy on it. Little did they know, Snoopy is her FAVORITE!

Today we had Miyako's sports class. It was a beautiful morning so we met our friends who are in class with us at a nearby park beforehand. After class we went back to the park with a bento lunch, just like we had done on the day of the earthquake one month ago. We actually discussed it at lunch and how similar the day was. I guess we jinxed ourselves. After lunch, we came home and Miyako watched a Snoopy video. I never realized how much drama is involved with Charlie Brown and his gang. The particular video Miyako likes right now involves Schroeder playing lots of piano which is why she likes it. However, Miyako does not understand the love fight going on between Schroeder and Lucy - Lucy is crazy about Schroeder and he keeps telling her over and over he does not like her. So, she tries to get him a piano recital to make him like her. Like I said, drama. But Miyako just likes to watch Schroeder play the piano so she can play "just like Schroeder."

I should record a little bit about sports class. Miyako is really enjoying it. At first she was very intimidated as the main teacher is a male. But today she had a lot of fun. She still wants to be held some times and I cannot do everything with her at 37 weeks pregnant, but I am glad to see her enjoying it. Plus it is nearby our house so it gives us something local to do which I will need once I have two kids and it will be harder to move about the city. Next week Kan is going to go with us to check it out since he will be taking her during the month of May while I am recovering from baby K's arrival.

I have changed nap time, as of Saturday, to "rest time." Reality is Miyako was not napping. Before we went to the US, she was content laying in her dark room and talking to herself for two hours. But once we got past the jet lag naps back in Tokyo, she was not very happy during nap time. Do I wish she would sleep? Yes, but she isn't. So, I have changed the routine to "rest time." She has to lay in her crib for 90 minutes to two hours with a small light on in her room. She can have her stuffed animals, a few books, and her favorite Japanese lullaby CD on during this time. She loves it, so far, and it gives me a break. Even though she does not sleep, she gets some down time as do I, and we are trying to get to bed a little earlier since she is no longer sleeping during the day.

The rest of our day was just a normal day. We watched a little NHK Japanese kids TV after rest time, took a bath, had an earthquake (well that is not really normal, but these days it is), ate dinner, cleaned up toys, read books and went to bed. We are 19 days away from D day - I am a bit overwhelmed at everything I need to get done before the baby comes. At the same time, I am so over being pregnant that I do not care if I do not get everything done. I was pretty productive during rest time today, but as a result my email correspondence has slipped. You may not hear back from me as quickly as I am trying to organize as much as I can. I wanted to finish Miyako's scrapbook before the baby...that may never get done...but if I can get toys cleaned out by the end of this week, I may be able to finish that little monster of a book before Baby K comes. The head is down but not engaged and we go to the doctor every Tuesday. So, tomorrow I get to see him or her again!

As for today's pictures, the only one I took was of Miyako talking to her daddy on the phone. I would post it, but she is butt naked in the photo. I am not too comfortable putting that on the internet. I will post a few from April. Miyako is into pretend play a lot these days. One day for breakfast Anpanman had to eat his breakfast with her - his breakfast consisted of rice crackers. She is also saying some pretty funny things. I started a quote journal to write these things down so I do not forget them. The other day she was pretending to drink out of a green plastic pitcher and I heard her say, "I'm having a Starbuck's coffee." I am not sure where she heard that. :) She also counted to 20 this month with help from me. She makes me laugh and is such a sweet little girl, when she wants to be. :)

I should sign off for now. Kan is home and we are relaxing watching some Wings - yes, the show from like the early 90's - it is his all time favorite sitcom and we own every season on DVD.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Closer to my heart

The earthquake was brought closer to my heart today as I met a lady who lived where the epicenter was and had evacuated to Tokyo. She lost her home and most belongings, but her two sons and husband all survived with her. After talking to her more, I found out her husband works for the infamous Tepco electrical company who is trying to resolve this whole radiation issue. The woman broke down in sobs as she talked about the frustration he is experiencing at work and how when people find out where he works, he gets ridiculed and blamed for the issues taking place at the plant. Friends, it broke my heart. It reminded me, that these workers are human, doing their best, and most of them have lost a lot already. I came home and told Kan how it just got to my heart - seeing her pain and how this is affecting her family - and then remembering how many more people are hurting and struggling just like her. Suicide is high in Japan - and as time goes on and the country continues to struggle in the aftermath of this earthquake and tsunami, I was reminded to pray for the emotional stability of the people affected so severely. And to pray for their hearts to find comfort in the true God who loves them and cares for them so much - so much so that he sacrificed his only Son for their sake. I was burdened today for those who continue to suffer so much more than the rest of us - may God be glorified through this and show Himself to them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tokyo - Post Earthquake

We are back in Tokyo - arrived on Thursday and still recovering from the jet lag. It has been tougher coming back than it was going to the US. The only benefit is Miyako actually sleeps during nap time - so much so that I have to wake her up. Everyone is curious to know what it is like back here, and I must say, it is not all that different than Tokyo pre-earthquake. Some supplies are low, such as bottled water, but if you go to the stores early enough, you can typically find bread, rice, eggs, fruit, yogurt, and milk. I pick up bottled water whenever I see it, simply out of precautionary measures for myself, baby K and Miyako. We are letting Kan drink the tap water. :) He figures if he gets a little radiation, he may grow a bit taller. In all seriousness, the water in Tokyo is fine - the US embassy even sent me an email saying it was safe to drink. We are trying to do bottled water when we can as an extra extra precautionary. The main difference is energy conservation. The city is not as lit up as it normally is. We can normally see a bright Tokyo Tower or Rainbow Bridge at night from our balcony, but the lights are currently off to conserve energy. Underneath the train stations, lights are dimmed and escalators are no longer running, just elevators. What does this mean? Well, Kan has to walk more and my elevator frustration is heightened as I have to wait even longer behind people who can actually take the stairs, but simply choose not to. So, we can live with these minor inconveniences.

It feels so good to be back at "48." Miyako started a sports class today and had a lot of fun. I go to the doctor tomorrow to see Baby K - we are down to 4 weeks and counting. I have not done near the "nesting" that I intended to do pre-earthquake, but that is okay. I am excited to meet the little bit. A lot of my expat friends are still gone. Several good friends plan to come back at the end of April or beginning of May. Some though are gone for good as their term was almost over once the earthquake hit. It is a bit sad to not be able to say goodbye. Life continues on as normal. Our church is doing amazing things in terms of helping with the relief up north. I hope to get over to the community room this week and check out the supplies they are in need of and see how we can help. They are taking supplies up about twice a week. I have felt a few more aftershocks since we came back, but they have not been bad at all. And thankfully I did not get too scared. It helped though that Kan was home when they happened.

We celebrated my 34th birthday on Saturday. If I had not been so tired we probably would have ventured out a little bit, but we stayed in and relaxed at home. I got myself a pedicure, which I had not had in over a year, and we ate some good Indian food at the mall next door. It was low key and relaxing, just what our family needed. I love Tokyo in the spring time. The cherry blossoms will be blooming soon and it is such a beautiful time - reminds you of new life, which I am praying the people of Japan find in Christ in the aftermath of this horrible experience.

We had a great visit back in the US. It was short and sweet. Miyako was a super traveler, even though she kept saying "I don't like airplane rides. I like train rides better." She adjusted well to the jet lag going to the US. She enjoyed playing at Grandma's and Papaw's house, seeing her Fox cousins and Nana, and meeting some of mama's friends. Mama and Daddy enjoyed seeing good friends and family and eating at some of our favorite places you cannot find in Tokyo. Time went by really fast but it was definitely a great visit. We were able to pack in a lot of people in a short amount of time, and really enjoyed ourselves.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we traveled and made some difficult decisions about what next to do. I have had nothing but the peace of God being back here in Tokyo. There is no doubt at all that this is where we are supposed to be today, April of 2011. I have posted a few pics of us with different friends at our visit to Lexington.