Thursday, November 29, 2012

Baby Brother

  It seems harder to find time to do pretty much anything with a newborn.  That's why I'm only now blogging about our baby brother Ian.
  I was induced Friday September 28.  They started the pitocin at 7:30 and Ian was born at 12:48 pm with only about a half hour of intense pain - probably my best delivery yet.
  Things went so fast at the end that the dr and nurses weren't ready for him.  But I sure wasn't going to try to keep him in so they could get things set up.

  Here's the proud papi

  And the tired, yet happy mami

 Brad brought the girls over a couple hours later and we asked the nurses to come take a picture of our family.  Well, I guess this nurse thought after helping deliver the baby that she was now part of the family.

  She was a nice nurse so we couldn't turn her away.

  Here's our sweet baby boy. 8 lbs 12 oz, 20 in.

  His fingers are almost as long as Brad's "short" pinky.

  This was my first time delivering at a military hospital - adequate, but not the happy place the other hospitals were.  It may have been that because I was there over the weekend the food was not good at all (just reheated leftovers I think).  The nurses were just ok.  They discharged me after 24 hrs, but didn't leave me with any medication.  So, the next 24 hrs that I had to stay with the baby were a little hard (they won't release the baby before 48 hrs).  I was so ready to go home!

Taking Ian home from the hospital.  He has lots of hair, but no traces of red like his sisters.

  The girls LOVE their brother!

They're always wanting to hold him.

  When Ian was 10 days old he got a fever.  When it didn't go away, I took him to urgent care.  I thought they'd tell me to keep a cold rag on his head or something.  But no, a documented fever in a baby this young is an automatic 48 hrs in the hospital.  They had to do lots of tests on him to make sure he didn't have a serious bacterial infection.  Then they had to give him antibiotics thru an IV.  Our poor little guy was miserable.  But, I got a lot of cuddle time over the 2 1/2 days we were there.
  They had to wrap his whole arm up so he wouldn't pull the IV out (it took them over an hour to put it in)

  Luckily all the cultures came back negative.  The pediatrician's guess is that he got roseola, which is virus where you have a spike in temperature for 1-2 days and then a rash.  They said it's very rare for a newborn to get it, more common in 6-8 month olds.
  It was a little scary, but everything turned out well.  And again, we were excited to get out of there.  Although the food was WAY better this time (probably because we were there during the week).

  More pics with his sisters.

  A sister in the Spanish branch in Mt Home made Ian this sweater, but by the time I put it on him (at 6 wks) he was too big for it.
  This little kid can sure eat!

  And now he can smile.  It makes me happy!  This smile was at taken at 7 weeks.

  We finally got a passport photo that worked (at 7 wks).  We had to put him in a straight jacket to keep his hands out of his face. :)

  And here he is at 2 months.  I took him in today and he weighs 14 lbs 6 oz!  We sure do love our chubby buddy!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Grammy in Japan

My mom came to stay with us after Ian was born.  We loved having her here.  She was here for 3 full weeks.  I was scrolling thru the pics on my phone, and I realized that we did a ton with "Grammy" but we've documented/publicized none of it.  So, to remedy that unfortunate failure, I'll share some of the fun we had.

First, we took her to see Mt Fuji.  We drove down there her first weekend here.  She was still a bit jet-lagged, but she agreed to the trip.  We packed a lunch and drove down to Lake Motosuko, one of the famed Five Lakes of Fuji.  Lake Motosuko has the added distinction of being "the place where they took the picture of Mt Fuji for the 1000 yen bill."

So, naturally, we had to get our own pic from that very spot (I'd also like to get a picture with the guy on the front.  Great hair).  The clouds thinned just enough for Fuji-san to peek (or peak) over the top.  I like this picture.

On the same trip, we also visited a traditional japanese village named Iyashi no Sato.  One of the websites I saw on this village described it as a "mixture between an open air museum and a craft village."  The houses are ancient-styled houses that were destroyed during a typhoon in the 60s and have since been rebuilt.  Each house serves a different purpose.  There was a paper making house, an armor house, a pottery house, etc.  I also got this video at the aptly-named relaxing house.

The village also boasted of an amazing view of Mt Fuji, but what was just as impressive was the camera power brought by the Japanese tourists.  (I'm sorry, I had to take this picture.)

Oh and I couldn't pass up a pose with the mountain flowers.  Don't judge me.  You would've done the same.

Our next outing was to a local gyoza restaurant.  Gyoza are like pot-stickers, but the first time I compared  them to pot-stickers one of the attorneys from my office assured me gyoza are way better than pot-stickers.  He was right.

We heard about this place named Gyoza Ten-Go-Ku (Gyoza Heaven), affectionately referred to by the Amerikajins here as "Communist Gyoza."  The name derives from the famed Seinfeld episode about the soup nazi (it's only 7 and a half minutes, you owe it to yourself to click on that hyperlink), because of the rules involved when eating there.

We reviewed "the rules"with mom on our way there (hoping to avoid an international costanza incident).  The first two rules make sense from a business owner's perspective: 1) Everyone over 7 has to have their own order of gyoza, no share-sies.  2) Everyone over 7 has to order a drink.  These two rules guarantee the owner about 1000 yen ($12-13) for each patron over 7.   The third rule, however, doesn't make as much sense, but rules is rules: 3) After the initial order, you can order more drinks but no more food.  (You read that correctly).

The rules may be strange, but you can't argue with the results.  Here's one order:

Each gyoza is about the size of a fist, so there was really no problem with rule #3, because we were struggling just to finish what they brought us.  I took this picture after I'd polished off one of the gyoza.  So, yeah, five fist-sized gyoza was plenty.  I'm a huge fan of communist gyoza, so if you come visit us, you know we'll take you there.

A day or so later, we went with Grammy to an aquarium.  Grammy had "go to an aquarium" on the short list of things she wanted to do while here.  So, we obliged (that's what we do).  We also took the opportunity to get to know the train system here.  It turned out great.  The train system is pretty slick, once you get the maps figured out.
The aquarium had everything you'd want in an aquarium.  A dolphin show, a seal show, a shark tank, some electric eels (creepy and fascinating), jelly fish, a ginormous bronze whale tail (wait, wha?).

Here's Grammy posing with the shark.

I wish I could've gotten a video of this, because my mom was getting anxious about having the shark lurking behind her with "only" a sheet of glass between it and her.  She was cracking me up.  I took a bunch of pictures as he was moseying by, then I lied to my mom and told her that none of them turned out so I could see her get nervous again while I took more pictures when he came around the next time.  Was that wrong??

The aquarium was built on the edge of this impressive park near Tokyo Bay.  After we'd seen all the mer-things we could see, we walked around the park.  There was a running path with workout stations.  Cailin and Alexa had to try each work out station.  They got in a pretty good workout, but they weren't too tired to strike a pose (they never are).

Here Alexa's shouting "Go Aggies!" (We didn't bother to find out if the Japanese had any cultural/social issues with a 4-yr-old using public space to cheer for the best university in the state of Utah.  We went on the assumption that they'd appreciate and even encourage such behavior.)

The last thing I'll mention is our very abbreviated trip to see the Imperial Palace.  My mom had to get to the airport by 1pm on 1 Nov.  We swung by the Imperial Palace before sending her off.  Unfortunately, it took longer to get there than we anticipated so we didn't even have time to walk around the East Garden which is the only portion open to the public.  Here are a few of the pictures we captured.  It would be fun to go back and spend a day there.

If you know my mom, you'll know understand that this was the beginning of a very teary goodbye.

From the Imperial Palace we hustled back to the train station, bought a ticket, got some directions to the right track, and hustled down to get her on her way to catch her flight.  We thought about sending her the wrong way so that she could stay a few more days with us, but we did the right thing.  Actually, I did end up getting her a ticket to get off the train at the wrong terminal, but she figured out where to go and made her flight on time.  That was totally an accident.  Totally.

Thanks for coming, Grammy.  Y'all come back now, ya hear! And bring Papa.