Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Here's a little song I wrote, to be sung to the tune of "Rawhide": Waiting, waiting, waiting Keep those Weisses waiting Gusss-IEEEEE! Do you like it? :) Unless I have an extremely precipitous labor and delivery - let's see, that would have to be less than two hours and forty-one minutes start-to-finish at this point - we'll be having a February baby! I'm having weird cramps, back pains, and other strange feelings that seem to indicate the time is drawing nearer... but is that really news two days after the estimated due date? Not so much, perhaps. I do have a doctor's appointment tomorrow; pray that all goes well - actually, while you're at it, pray that my water breaks right there in the office! Poor Mike. I called him at work today to let him know that an anticipated package had arrived and he thought that it was TIME. Oops. Gotta keep him on his toes, though, right? :)

Monday, January 29, 2007

All we need is just a little patience...

For those of you who are keeping track, today is indeed our "due date"... and, as should surprise no-one who knows me, we are now overdue! There will be no January 29th baby here. While I can't say that I'm surprised, I'd obviously hoped that little Asparagus might be one of the 5% of babies actually born on their due dates. Before would have been okay, too. *Sigh.* Oh, well! One positive bit - since we had our first ultrasound when I was only five weeks pregnant, we're confident that the due date itself is accurate. According to something I read somewhere sometime (how's that for citing my sources?), when early ultrasound is used to determine due dates, the traditional statistic of 10% of babies being post-term - which I think is being born two weeks or more after their due dates - drops to only 2%. So... maybe tomorrow! Bonus points for anyone who knows what band's lyrics I used for the title of this post. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nothing to Report

Yes, this is the post about nothing. :) No baby yet, though I probably shouldn't be impatient yet since my due date is still around the corner (January 29). At my appointment today my doctor declared me 3 cm dilated and thought that I had a good chance (26% - ehhhh?) of going into labor in the next week. Now, I'm still not quite sure why 26% is considered a strong positive possibility, but I'll take it. Unless I don't go into labor this week. Then I'll be growling about good chances and things that ought not to be spoken to a woman who can't reach the coffee table without extraordinary effort. :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sick, sick, sick

That's me. Sick. With a head full of mucus and coughing, coughing, coughing. Bleeeech. I always hate being sick, but the worry that Asparagus will decide to make her debut while I'm feeling this way isn't helping matters. I'm not sure how well the Lamaze breathing exercises would go for me right now: "hee...hee...hee... HACKHACKHACKCOUGHHACK... hee...hee... ACHOOOHACKHACK... hee...hee...hee" On the other hand, maybe all the hacking and sneezing would help keep my mind off the labor pains - hopefully I won't be able to let you know. :) The silver lining here is that my impatience in waiting for her birth has suddenly dissolved away, replaced by a hope that she'll stay put for a time! Along those lines, I would greatly appreciate prayers for my speedy recovery and for her to stay cozily inside until I do...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More Bellies!

As the time grows nearer, the belly, too, continues to grow. Here's the latest... This is the belly as of January 6... And here's the belly as of January 13, just a few days ago. Doesn't it look fake?? We're not completely sure if she dropped before or after this - a guy at church thought I looked lower on Sunday, and Mike really was able to tell Monday evening. I don't think it's as obvious in me as in some people for some reason. This is now the only pair of pants I am able to fit into. Time to get this baby out!


Thanks, Everybody!

That was fun! Some of you I kind of knew were out there and others I didn't at all; a couple of you delurked in person and I have a hunch that a few more of you are out there. It was great to hear from all of you and a great encouragement to me to me that this activity is worth my time. :) It's fun to be able to share this baby-waiting time with all of you. We appreciate the babysitting offers and I am indeed leaving notes for Mike on how to update the blog with an announcement. (He doesn't know that that's included in the job description for The Coach, but I'm sure he'll do just fine. :) Our due date is January 29 - yes, just under two weeks away now - but we're avidly hoping that Gussie will make an appearance a bit earlier than that. We think she finally dropped sometime in the last few days, so according to my oh-so-reliable Internet research we can expect for her to make an appearance in the next ten to thirty days. (Is that really helpful information? I don't think so.) In other news, I must regretfully note that the Federated Association of Pavers, Bricklayers, Concrete Haulers and Chain Saw Manufacturers is not an approved 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and is therefore ineligible for donations at this time. We would be happy to re-examine their application at such a time as they achieve said status.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's International De-Lurking Week!

I just learned about this little celebration from this blogger (apparently it was founded by this other blogger), and think that it is a fantastic idea! I am going to copy her all the way. Delurking week runs from January 8 through January 15 this year, and gives us bloggers the opportunity to find out just who - if anyone! - is reading our blogs. So what is de-lurking? Well, lurking is reading a blog but rarely or never commenting, and is, as has been said elsewhere, "a perfectly respectable thing to do!" (Except for this week, of course.) De-lurking, then, just means popping out of hiding to say, "Hi! I read this! I might even notice if you never ever post anything ever again!" You don't have to say much - your name and favorite Curious George book will suffice. :) It's a nice bit of encouragement for me to stay on top of things here. As an added incentive (and to further copy Blogger #1), I'll donate $2 to the Michigan Land Use Institute for each person who comments on this post this week. MLUI is a great organization dedicated to preserving farmland, revitalizing cities, and on the whole making Michigan a great place to live. So what are you waiting for? Delurk already! :)

A Final Shot...

...of Mark and I in the ramen shop where we had lunch in Takayama. It was really warm in there compared to the outside, which fogged up the camera lens. It was like a dream... Posted by Picasa


Mmmmm... grease!!!

Do you see the grase slide near the top right-hand side of this picture? Do you see the river below? I just don't know quite what to say about this. Posted by Picasa


Hamming it up!

Too bad the sun was behind them... Mike and Mark are hamming it up for the camera! Posted by Picasa


On the Bridge

Day Two in Takayama... Mark and I are standing on the bridge between the newer part of town and the old city center, posing in traditional Japanese style. :) I'm wearing my brand-new cute pink-and-white way-overpriced Roxy stocking cap, purchased early this morning because it was COLD! Posted by Picasa


The Best Place Ever

The Hida-Takayama area is in the mountains of Japan, well-removed from the coast. This makes it one of the few places where you can "point and shoot" at an unreadable menu and not get something with raw fish, fish eggs, or dried fish flakes in it. In fact, this area is famous for their delicious beef. This evening, we revisited the Best Place Ever for a delicious meal of Hida beef with Houba miso (the local variety, also much better than in Nagoya). Mmmmmmm...a little taste of heaven! Since we'd last been here just a month ago, the owners remembered us, which was pretty cool. Mike and Mark got the house's complimentary sake, and I got a yummy little purple donut thing, apparently an Okinawan specialty. Seriously. The Best Place EVER. Posted by Picasa

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Japan Is Weird

As far as we can tell, Santa Poop is nursing his litter of pooplings here... Weird, I tell you, WEIRD!!! Posted by Picasa


"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

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The Evidence

One would think that a snowball thrown into a third-story window would remain on the third story, no? Well... no. Not in these houses, where many of the floors aren't solid after the first level. Here are the remains of the successful snowball, indeed on the first level of this house. :) The last time we were here, some ladies were sitting around the fire in this building sipping tea in just about the same place the snowball landed. We sure are glad that it wasn't teatime this time! Posted by Picasa


Snowball Trouble

Mike and Mark are taking turns throwing snowballs at the upper window of this house here. Before too long, they succeed, much to the surprise of the people who were touring the house at the time... Posted by Picasa


The Original Squatty Potty

I am not making this up. Those who have visited Japan - and many other places in the world - know that there are two styles of toilet in common use. There's the traditional American/Western-style stool, with which we are all familiar. Then there's the squatty, which is essentially a porcelain hole in the ground over which you, well, squat to do your business. In this picture, you will notice below Mark a big hole lined with stones, over which are laid some widely-spaced boards. As you can see, Mark is hanging from a rope suspended from the ceiling in order to maintain his balance. And there you have it... the amazing origins of the squatty potty. A place where you really don't want to lose your balance. Posted by Picasa

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Snowball Success

Mike's quest to create the perfect snowball is successful! "Oooooooooo... isn't he STRONG???" Posted by Picasa


Baby Bellies

I think that Mike's developing belly envy. :) Look, we match! Posted by Picasa


The View

The view was very pretty. I took this while waiting for the boys to finish with their snowballs. ;) Posted by Picasa



Mike's mad because his big snowball didn't hold together very well. It looked like good packing snow... but not so much. Posted by Picasa



Playing in the snow was the favored activity of the day and attracted a great deal of attention. The passers-by were thoroughly entertained by the sight of these big gaijin (foreigners) playing in the snow. Posted by Picasa


Shoes off!

In true Japanese fashion, we were required to take our shoes off pretty much anywhere we entered. We peeked in a lot of doors this time around - it's just too cold to be taking the shoes off all the time! Here I am being obedient and preparing to walk across the snow in stocking feet in order to preserve social harmony. You can't tell from this picture that I'm several feet off the ground here and had to clamber up some slippery rocks to pose for this picture... which made Mike extremely (and understandably) nervous and may have actually served to disrupt social harmony. A girl just can't win... :) Posted by Picasa


Doing as Nature Intended

The sign upon which I'm leaning reads: SHOUBENJO Urinal {Don't Use!} Although it is difficult for people of today to think that a urinal is installed near the front door, it was used to being common. Mainly men, occasionally women, used it. I bet it was the pregnant ladies who used it... but maybe not in winter!
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Pretty Picture #1

A beautiful winter scene. Posted by Picasa


Snowball fight!

Mike's looking for trouble. :) Posted by Picasa


Winter in Takayama

We took another trip to Takayama on New Year's weekend, hoping to meet winter up there. As you can see, we did! Mike and Mark had lots of fun playing in the snow. :) Mike and I are standing in front of the pond at the entrance of Hida Folk Village in this picture. Posted by Picasa


Nara Overlook

Mark and I checking out the Nara scenery about five minutes before it started pouring rain. Have you ever seen a pregnant lady run? Entertaining, I tell you, very, very entertaining. Posted by Picasa


Magic Pills

For only 400 yen (less than $4), you can purchase charms that will cure all of life's ills! I admit, I was tempted by "the easy birth charm." If only it were so easy... Posted by Picasa

Really Big Buddha

This is the Really Big Buddha for which the Really Big Wooden Building was built. It's too bad we couldn't get close enough to add some scale to the picture... but it is really big. Posted by Picasa


Big Temple

Here are Mark and I outside the big temple. If we understood correctly, this is the largest wooden-frame building in the world, even though it is currently only two-thirds its original size. Posted by Picasa