We stopped by a gorgeous cosmos field today after church. Cosmos are autumnal flowers here in Japan, and I look forward to them every year. I can't believe this is our fifth season! Time blossoms on...and on...
(No, he didn't dictate that title to me!)
Check out Stephen's new glasses! He poked his head in the kitchen noren (curtain for doorways) while I was preparing dinner last night, and I couldn't resist grabbing the camera.
Sorry, Mr. / Ms. Anonymous commenter! I have been remiss. The ultrasound pics have been sitting in my bag a couple of days running now, but I still haven't scanned them at work. Abigail even emailed me at work on Friday to remind me, but I guess even that didn't have any effect. What I can tell you is that the baby is (a) bigger than last time, (b) normal and healthy, and (c) very good looking.
If this is any consolation, there will soon be a very cute picture of me - so hold onto your socks and prepare yourselves to be amazed!
I went with Abigail for a visit to the doctor today - so there will be some new cute baby cross-section ultrasound pics tomorrow. But in the meantime here is another in our ongoing series of names we can't name the baby.
Today - Calen. Not that I am big into these fashionable names like Calen, Braden or Jayden. Anyway, what is the deal with Calen? Well, it sounds just like keiren - or muscle cramps. Something a pregnant woman does not want to think about any more than she has to.
My next door neighbor has two children, ages 2 and 5, and yesterday she and I hung out for a bit. She also gave me some darling clothes her children can't wear anymore.
I guess the kids grew up too fast....
(Look closely and you will get the joke!)
No, not me! The baby's growth process! :) Even though I have set off an elevator alarm for weight overload, Stephen hasn't had to roll me anywhere yet. He does have to help me stand up again once I've put my shoes on in our little genkan (lobby area where you take off or put on your shoes in homes/apartments/public buildings in Japan).
Here's the 18-week scoop:
At 20.5 cms or 8.1 inches total length, your baby is growing rapidly. S/he weighs about 7 ounces (198 grams). The bones are continuing the ossification process. The pads of the fingers and toes are formed and the fingerprints are developing as well.
Isn't that sweet?
Happy 18th-Week Birthday, Baby! (OK, well, maybe not "birth"day, but start-of-life day.)
I think this baby's going to have lots of baby friends to play with in this area. Just now, walking back from the store, I passed a local cake shop where Grandpa, the baker (in his white apron and tall hat), was outside holding Shotaro, his chubby 4- or 5-month-old grandson. A neighbor was chatting with him while holding her son, Haruki, who was born in March this year. (And, by the way, Mom looked like she never gave birth to anyone in her life---she was a stick!) I was walking by, across the street, and Grandpa called out, "Oh, you're having yours soon aren't you!" Getting past my initial anger reaction (I'm not that big I'm not that big I'm not that big), I smiled congenially and crossed over to meet them. I had a good time making funny faces at the boys and chatting away with the adults. Grandpa partially redeemed himself by saying that I was fluent in Japanese. (Though lots of Japanese say that and probably don't really mean it.)
Maybe I will buy cake there in the future. We'll see. Don't want them to think I'll get too much bigger, though. Even though I'm 4 months preggo, I just might explode soon!
Someone got stuck in the pumpkin truck.
I just had to post this adorable picture of my niece, Elise, who is soon going to have a little brother or sister. Then she'll have a new bundle to hold and can give up clinging to the pumpkins.
The other day I posted about the construction going on in front of our building, six days a week, pounding, pounding, and screeching. Well, now that we've had rain for two days in a row, they've halted their green-destroying "progress" because of flooding on the site.
Would you want to buy a house that's built there?
Today starts week 17 for The Littlest Munday. Is it a wee lassie or laddie? We just don't know yet...but stay tuned.
We do know that Baby weighs about 5 ounces (142 grams) now, and is developing brown fat deposits under the skin to keep it warm after birth. And we know that loud noises outside the womb can startle the baby.
So what does that say about Stephen's sneezes? Poor baby!
OK. This really happened. I am not making this up to be mean to Abigail - she even said that this was funny:
We went out for a quick stroll just now. It would have been longer if the rain hadn't started and made us turn back. So we called the elevator (as you do if you have just had a hard stroll round the block) and I, being a true gentleman, let Abigail get on first. At which point - BUZZZZ! - the overload alarm goes off! The plaque inside says the maximum load is 450kg, but she's only in her 16th week, so that can't be right....
This used to be a gorgeous field in front of our building where birds used to frolic. It will be a mini-neighborhood from January. I have to look at it this way: It's a new opportunity to make some new friends. We'll just have to make the change from the feathered variety to the two-legged wingless kind.
Check this sunset out! Couldn't help but hang out on our balcony this evening for a while and snap loads of piccies.
I'm sure this doesn't do it justice; I was just amazed at what the Creator (OK, OK, and probably some human-made pollution) did tonight!
Was just thinking I'd like to do a little post, and fell upon this link for a wild-yet-true story of a family in Arkansas who just had their sixteenth child, and who actually want more!
I haven't delivered the first one yet, so we'll see how this goes.
I guess it must get easier after the eighth or ninth one...
Not something you thought you would hear me say (or even see me write), I bet! But anyway, I first saw the Tummy Tub on Japanese TV maybe last year and thought it was great at the time, despite there being no baby on the horizon at that stage. It is just such a beautifully simple design: A tapered bucket shape holds the baby more vertically, reproducing the fetal position it has (obviously) been so used to up to then. The baby relaxes. It doesn't panic - as babies quite reasonably seem to, as they plunge backwards towards an unknown mass of bath water. Bath time, apparently, can be fun for everyone.
A happy baby means a happy mummy and daddy, so if anyone knows websites or stores (they mainly seem to be in Britain when searching on the English brand name) that (a) have reasonable prices (that rules out most UK sites), and (b) don't charge an arm-and-a-leg to ship to other countries (as the sole North American site does), then tell us about them!
Anyone up for trying to make an adult-size one of these things?
Apparently Baby is emptying his / her bladder every 40-45 minutes. If Baby is anything like Mommy, this is completely normal.
Also, Baby's nails are fully formed and might even need trimming at birth.
And another cool thing: I might start feeling movements soon!
Look here for more way-amazing info.
Here are our latest set of visitors this year. Let's hear a big hand for Chuck and Julie! If any of you know Chuck, you can immediately guess what we are doing in this picture: Chuck is the king of board games and card games, and is always ready to introduce us to new forms of table-top paper-based entertainment. Fun fun fun!
Here's a story that had Lucky the "Penguin" cheering in our house: Penguin poo pressure study wins the Fluid Dynamics Ig Nobel Prize. Another exciting day in the whacky world of "science".
...the truck selling cold rice paste balls stops coming around and is replaced by the roasted sweet potato truck. Each have their own distinct loudspeaker call (sort of like a moaning song). I heard the sweet potato truck today for the first time this season. Yaaaaaa-keee-mohhhhhhh...
I like the part at the end the best: The blaring tape says (in translation here), "I'm going soon. You'd better hurry up!"
I just wanted you to know that 30 feels exactly the same as 29.
Well, here it is---the highly requested latest belly pose. I had no idea I looked like that until I was uploading the photo. It was quite a shocker to see myself from that angle!
I must admit, though, that this picture was taken right after dinner. Stephen's idea.
Lucky Duck came to us yesterday from family in Wisconsin. It's our first stuffed animal baby gift we've received, and I think that everything's starting to sink in more now. I don't think Stephen or I will be completely used to the idea of Baby for a while yet, but this soft ducky hanging around is a constant reminder that something is just a bit different than it used to be.
Baby Munday is getting up there! The baby's Mom is now the Big 3-0 (yes, years), and Baby is now the Big 1-5 (weeks, that is).
According to pregnancy.about.com, at week 15:
Wow. Fearfully and wonderfully made.
It was my beautiful Abigail's birthday today, and she had a busy time fielding phone calls, searching for bits of her card (I gave her one on a jigsaw puzzle and then hid the pieces around the apartment) and being entertained by an English guest all the way from Korea!
Then, this evening, we went out to an Italian restaurant and came back for Cherry Cheesecake, which I had managed to create yesterday to allow it to mature in the fridge overnight. Very yummy, if I do say so myself.
I think we have established here that fish intestines kimchi (as bought by Abigail's former Japanese teacher, Kazuko Kudo, when they were visiting Seoul earlier this year) is a food that pregnant women definitely don't want.
But what do you think? If you have any ideas for food that is even more likely to gross out someone with olfactory hypersensitivity, don't hold back - let your ideas loose and leave a comment.
I have just completed the Japanese census form that will eventually form part of a snapshot of the country as it was today, 1st October. Surprisingly (or perhaps, unsurprisingly, depending on your experience) it was much clearer than IRS and INS forms, despite it being in a foreign language - unless you hold to the opinion that American English is also a separate and distinct language.
Anyway, when I was filling in the nationalities of the residents of this apartment, it got me thinking about what we may have to enter the next time around. Right now, it is pretty clear: I am from England and Abigail is from America. But for the Little Pickle, we will have to put England and America. And if we adopt, as we would like to, we will then have to put America / England and Japan for Little Pickle v.2.0. You can imagine the confusion this might cause at Census HQ!
The thought of messing with officialdom reminds me of former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who apparently named all his sons "Lawrence Eagleburger" with only a different middle name to differentiate between them. If I remember the Time magazine article correctly, he allegedly did it to confuse the Social Security Administration. I doubt that it would take much to confuse a bureaucracy of this nature, so I'm sure his plan was successful.