Sunday, 29 June 2008

Last Moments

Us next to the iconic lantern of Kenrokuen Garden
Zion enjoying his ride in the Baby Bjorn.

First smiles caught on the camera.

We are to the point now that everything is our "last". I just finished the last bottle of honey I will have to buy here for the last loaf of bread I will have to make in Japan. I bought TP for the last time the other day. We saw some friends that moved to Canada from here for a medical internship for the last time the other day. In the same vein, we went to Kenrokuen Garden for the last time Saturday.

When we first arrived in the blistering heat of Japan in August 2006, one of the first things we did was to visit this famed garden. It is one of the three largest and most famous gardens in Japan. As we walked through it this weekend, it was fun thinking about how we have adapted to life here in Japan and how much we have changed in these two years. We also never anticipated taking our first baby there either when we first visited.

Our friend, Colleen, also invited us to this ballet on Sunday. We went and took Zion who was an absolute gem! He did not make a peep for the whole performance! Anyway, one of the numbers was from Westside Story and it was the song "America". It was interesting watching them perform about something they have no clue about. Both of us got emotional thinking about getting to go home so soon! Heath is pretty sure he is "spoiling" for reverse culture shock just because he is so excited about going home. I am sure lots has changed since we left so I hope our transition back will be a smooth one.

Zion is also smiling more now. These are the first pictures we caught on the camera. He is still a little guy (Natasha, I put that Hanna Anderson outfit on him that you sent us and it is so huge! The pants would not even stay on) but full of cute personality.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Packing Up

Zion's one month check with our doctor (Tanaka sensei)
Zion sleeping. He always has his hands somewhere around his head.
After bath time.

Alexis, this is for you! What a little man outfit. (Please forgive my shower-fresh look here.) Us with Hitomi, Mai, Yukiko, Yoko, and the feast.

This past weekend we started packing up our apartment. We figure it is good to get most of the sorting finished before the weather gets so unbearable that we won't want to leave our one air conditioned room. Plus, we fly four weeks from today (July 22nd) and have to be completely moved out by the 20th so they can inspect the apartment.

We also went to a beach BBQ for a friend on Saturday. It was a little sad realizing that it was probably the last time we would ever see the Sea of Japan.

On Sunday we hung out with four of my favorite students. We met them at a video store (because finding a house here is impossible for the first time) and when they saw us about a block away, they started running! They were so excited to see us and Zion. That was so cute. Anyway, they had invited us over for Zion's birthday. One of their grandmas made this amazing feast! It was so delicious. These four girls are so cute. They made resolute promises to visit us in the US when they are in college. We'll see about that!

Zion is doing well. He just gets cuter by the day. We are getting used to each other and he has been sleeping like a champ at night lately too. What a kid! We cannot wait for everyone to meet him. Oh, by the way, his name pronunciation rhymes with "lion" or "Brian".

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Burying the Placenta

Heath digging the hole
Placenta in the hole
The marker where it is
Us under the bridge
The hospital labeled my placenta with my name. It was in the freezer the last month.

Okay, I hope this post does not gross anyone out too much. . .

When I was having my c-section, Heath asked to keep the placenta saying that it was an "American tradition". Well, if I had been conscious, we would not have had the thing in our freezer the past month, but he was in charge at that point. Since then we have been wondering what to do with the thing. Every time I would open the freezer for ice I was reminded of my organ hybernating in there. Gross! Heath wanted to get it back to the US, but besides curing it in salt or sending it in a liquid, he could not come up with a solution.

So we were forced to come up with a creative way to leave it in Japan. On Saturday we went to Heath's favorite spot in Japan--the Fushimi River right by his school--and left it in a hole there. I am sure all of our neighbors wondered what we foreigners were up to when we trotted off with a shovel in hand.

Now the piece of flesh that attached Zion to me will forever remain in Japan. Not many people can make the claim of having a "pound of flesh" removed from them and buried as a sentimental gesture!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Baby Zion. . .

*loves to be cuddled

*has fingernails that grow like weeds

*is finding his smiling muscles (and no, it is not just gas)

*has the cutest little facial expressions when he is sleeping

*will be four weeks old this Friday (time flies!!)

*loves walks in his Baby Bjorn

*hates to have his poopy diaper changed

*loves to pee when the diaper is off

*does the cutest little stretches when he is waking up

*is getting a cute chubby chin and filling out a bit

*has eyelashes the color of angel hair (that white Christmas decorative stuff)

*is so cute sleeping next to his dad (they look like twins)

*likes bath time

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Passport Trip

So this weekend we made a mad trip to Osaka (about 250 miles south) with infant in hand. Yes, the American Embassy thinks traveling with a two week old is hassle free! Fortunately, Zion did great and we were able to successfully apply for his passport, social security number, and American birth certificate (it turns out if you don't apply for the birth certificate while in the foreign country your child was born in, you cannot do it from the US which would eventually mean another trip to Japan just for a paper!).

We also were able to see the famous aquarium down there. That was a lot of fun. They have this huge tank filled with all sorts of fish and then the rest of the building spirals around it with other attractions on the sides. Interesting. We also went on a HUGE Ferris wheel. Heath has a thing about going on them and gets all excited when we see one.

July 22nd is the day we fly home! Mark in on the calendar! We are heading home soon! So excited about that. Now we are cleaning out our apartment, which is a large task.

Life with Zion is great. I love staying home with him. We are tired a lot of the time, but he is so worth it! We cannot wait to introduce him to all our people back home!