It sure is exciting to be able to call Jedi by his name now. This week he’s the size of an heirloom tomato or a mango (I went with mango, because I LOVE to eat mangoes). He is developing special areas in his brain for storing sensory information- anything having to do with taste, smell, touch, hearing, and vision. Jedidiah can now hear daddy’s and my voices which is pretty exciting! We love talking to our little guy. He’s growing hair on his head now in addition to the soft hair growing all over his body. He measures about 6 inches from his head to his little bum and is getting a waxy coating on his skin to keep it from pickling in the amniotic fluid. Those are some pretty significant developments this week!
Daddy and I spent most of this week recovering from jet lag and trying to get back on a normal schedule. It is SO hard adjusting back! Thursday I finally got maternity clothes! I’ve been desperately trying to squeeze into my old clothes until I could get back to the States to buy maternity wear- Jedidiah is a growing boy and my body barely fit into most of my other clothes.
We had a lot of social engagements this week- some with family, some with friends. One of the highlights of the week was driving to Waterloo, Iowa for Katie Peters and Zack Barron’s wedding. Katie was one of our first friends when we moved to Qingdao and was a great friend throughout the two years we were there. Zack, ironically, was my friend Warren’s roommate. Warren and I knew each other from our days at Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern, St. Paul). Strangely enough, we both ended up in Qingdao, and we got to know Zack pretty well too. Katie and I actually played AGAINST each other in college soccer. Small world… Katie and Zack were a part of our fellowship in China, which was essentially our “family” while we were away. Anyways, Jedi took his first road trip (only 3 and a half hours) to watch these two make their covenant commitment to each other. The wedding was beautiful and we were able to see many of our friends from China. It was strange to see them all together here… on the other side of the world! But it was a special time to celebrate love, laughter, and friendship.
We were also able to reconnect with one of my oldest friends and her family. Brittany and I have been best friends since 3rd grade. We have stayed in touch all these years and I was able to meet all of her kids, who have grown considerably since the last time I saw them. We really enjoyed catching up with her family as well, as they were my “family” for many years.
Speaking of family, I was able to spend some quality time with my own. We had a “date” day with my parents, where we visited the historic Fort Snelling (where my dad does all his Civil War reenacting and where I kind of grew up frequenting), walked around Lake Harriett and the surrounding gardens, and then finished at TGI Fridays for dinner. It was a great day and a blog about that will follow at some point.
I was also able to reconnect with my youth leader from high school, Nan. I always try to see her when we’re in town, but she is a busy lady! I’m sure that’s what people say about us too, but it’s always great to see her.
Another big thing that happened this week is that Trent FINALLY shaved his beard!!! Woo-HOO!!! I love his beard but in a bit smaller, more confined, well-kept manner. Trent had been growing it out since “No Shave November” and by this point I was pretty over it, but I knew that he loved it so I tolerated the ever growing beard. He looks so handsome now that it’s shaved back down! I can’t stop staring at my handsome husband!
Symptoms: Oh, so tired! There were many sleepless nights and LONG days trying to stay awake after sleepless nights. Stupid jet lag!
Wow! I can’t believe we’re half-way done with this pregnancy! In some ways, it seems like the time is going by slowly, and in other ways, it is flying and I need it to slow down a bit! But it is pretty exciting to be half-way to meeting our little guy! This week he is the size of a banana! When I read that he is now about 10 inches long, I thought, WOW, he grew a LOT in the last week, but I didn’t realize that they use two different measurements for babies. The first they only use until the baby is 20 weeks old- where they measure from head to rump (because baby’s legs are too scrunched up to measure them appropriately). From 20 weeks on they measure from head to foot, so baby boy didn’t really grow 4 inches in the past week, but now they are taking his legs into consideration when they make their measurements. The only major developments now is that Jedi is producing meconium which is the black, sticky poo that he will pass when he is delivered. It means that his body is preparing for digestion outside of the womb. Exciting, right…?
Jedidiah took his second road trip in two weeks- this time up near Duluth in Two Harbors (again, only about 3 ½ hours away). This trip was also to visit some friends from China (small world!). Warren, as mentioned above, was a friend from college. He invited Trent and I to his place for the 4th of July weekend. We left early Friday morning and arrived around 1pm. We met him and Zack and Katie (yep, the couple who had just gotten married) at Gooseberry Falls where we hiked and enjoyed the gorgeous day until the others who would be joining us met up. When we were all together, we headed back for dinner and an evening bonfire on Lake Superior. Saturday’s festivities included morning kayaking and then the “Olympics” where his family had set up all sorts of fun, competitive events. We were all split into teams. Trent and I were on “Team China” with Warren and another friend from China, Amy Keller. We had a blast playing all the games and finished the evening off by watching the fireworks at Canal Park, over the lake. Sunday we spent hiking Tettagouche before heading back to the cities. It was such a fun weekend, and it was great to see these friends again before we all headed our separate ways.
Trent and I were invited over to my friend Rosario’s for Arroz con Pollo one afternoon and we enjoyed playing with her girls and catching up over some DELICIOUS Mexican food! After we were finished, we all went down to el mercado for some ice creams! It had been a long time since I’d seen her girls… in fact, when I left for Texas, Fabiola was only a baby, now she’s in 4th grade and there’s another daughter that I hadn’t even met yet. Her oldest is 17 years old!!!! She was like 9 when I left. Ahhh, time passes much too quickly!
We had a lovely family dinner at my grandma’s where most of us were present. I got to see my aunt Sally, Uncle Jim and my cousin Maddy and her boyfriend, Matt. Dinners at Grandma’s are always a delight… her cooking is the best! And after being in China for two years, it tasted like a slice of heaven!!!
Symptoms this week: I am eating a lot… probably not because of (or even for) Jedi… but just because I am so happy to be eating American foods again! I’ve been going particularly crazy over breakfast foods… especially pancakes! I’m eating them like they’re going out of style!
Jedidiah is about the length of a carrot now- 10 ½ inches long. His eyebrows are beginning to grow in this week.
I had my second baby shower on Saturday, organized by my sister, Christie and my auntie Sandy. It was a wonderful time and it was such a blessing to be able to see so many friends in one place! It did feel like a bit of a blur though, and unfortunately I didn’t get enough quality time to catch up with hardly anyone. It kind of felt like my wedding, where we saw so many people, but just barely. We got some beautiful, hand-made gifts and lots of great things for Jedi. It was so much fun to open up gifts and envision them being used on our little guy.
After the baby shower, we had a family bonfire at my sister’s house. I had a bit of a run-in with a S’more… usually I don’t even like S’mores so much, but since it had been quite a while since I’d had one, I decided to go for it. I like to roast the marshmallows, but I don’t so much like to eat them. Anyways, when the boys started the fire, they had discovered a yellow-jacket nest inside, so they sprayed the crap out of it before actually starting the fire. The first marshmallow I roasted smelled kind of funny so I threw it out, I thought perhaps it had picked up some chemical residue. The second one I roasted smelled okay, so I proceeded to put it on the graham crackers and add the chocolate and I took a bite… and IMMEDIATELY spat it out… Something was not right. It tasted sour! I ran inside so brush my teeth and get the taste out of my mouth. Apparently the GRAHAM CRACKERS went bad (who knew that was even possible). So anyways, we threw those ones out and opened a new box and I successfully enjoyed a S’more after that, but as a warning to all of you… if it smells funny, throw it out! I thought it was the marshmallow smelling bad, but really it was the crackers the whole time. Consider yourselves warned!
I was able to meet up with a good friend of mine from my college soccer team at IKEA. Katie and I walked around looking at stuff while catching up. At the end she gave me a baby gift for little Jedi. It was wrapped so cute with all these hand-cut stars around it. Inside was a prayer book but the best gift was a hand- drawn/painted picture that says, “Our little Monkey.” Trent and I are going with a monkey theme for Jedi’s room and the picture has a little monkey holding a soccer ball. It’s adorable and I can’t wait to put it in Jedi’s room!
We were able to take our grandparents out for dinner this week to wish them a belated happy anniversary (57 years or something close to that). My sister Christie and her husband Ryan, along with my brother, Derek and us all went to Osaka’s for some Hibachi fun. It was very entertaining to watch them squirt Saki down the boys’ throats and to catch pieces of broccoli flicked into our mouths. We had a great time with them at dinner and enjoyed each other’s company. I can only hope that any of us aspire to be as happy and as in love as my grandparents still are after so many years together!
At the end of this week, we said our goodbyes with a farewell dinner at my sister’s. Ryan manned the grill and cooked us up some delicious steaks while we enjoyed our last evening together until Christmas time (when Jedidiah will BE HERE!).
Early Wednesday morning we boarded a plane for San Antonio, our final destination. I can honestly say that I have no desire to fly again ANYTIME soon! Thankfully my feet didn’t swell up this time! We were greeted by Trent’s parents who brought us out to lunch (we hadn’t eaten yet) at one of our favorite local restaurants, Garcia’s. I had my favorite meal, tortilla soup, while Trent had his favorite- migas nortenas. His sister Katey and our nephew Cohen joined us for lunch. After lunch, we headed to our house to see how the new floors looked (for another post… renting woes). Much to our surprise, Trent’s family had already moved EVERYTHING from our storage unit back into our house. I cried. I was so relieved that we could sleep in our own bed that night! They had set up the majority of the big furniture which only left us with boxes to unpack. It was such a tremendous blessing that they had done so much work on the house, not only cleaning it and getting the flooring put in, but also having plumbers come fix problems and install a new sink, and taking care of the yard (which needed major maintenance). But then, on top of all of that, to move all of our stuff for us… it was almost too much. I am SO thankful for my in-laws!!! I really lucked out with them!
So… as excited as I was to sleep in our own bed that night… excitement turned to fear as we realized that a MONSTER cockroach was in our bedroom. I’m not kidding, this thing was like 6 inches long. Trent put together a contraption with a cup to try to trap it so that we could bring it outside and let it go (they don’t squish well), but as he tried to catch it, the bugger flew right at his forehead and knocked him straight on the bed! It was crazy. We couldn’t catch him and there was no way we could have slept knowing he was in the room, so we tried to sleep with the lights on (bedroom and bathroom). It was a night of little sleep for us as we continued to try to catch him… he even ended up in our bed at one point! EW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We think that they came in with all the boxes that had been in storage for the past two years. Anyways, not quite what we were hoping for for our first night in our own bed. Lol.
Symptoms this week: Not a whole lot… just getting bigger and bigger!
Jedidiah is the size of a spaghetti squash this week- measuring about 11 inches long and weighing about one pound. He is developing tooth buds under his little gums and his lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more defined. His eyes are developed, but still lack pigment. I sure hope baby boy has his daddy’s eyes!!!
We were able to see a lot of family this week, however, under sad circumstances. Trent’s second cousin, Paul Cooley, was hit on his motorcycle by an 18 wheeler and passed away. So we were able to see a lot of family, but a funeral wasn’t quite what any of us were hoping for. It just reminds me to value every moment with the people we have around us and to be INTENTIONAL about relationships (especially family ones).
We did SO much unpacking this week… wow, we have a lot of crap! It literally took this entire week just to get through everything. One cool thing about unpacking was that I found a box of clothes I had put away for maternity (not that I was super planned, but they just didn’t quite fit right when I wasn’t pregnant) so I felt like I just got a bunch of new stuff! It was awesome! I spent the rest of the week organizing and trying to get settled back in.
We got new phones this week!!! It was well overdue and now we are back in the technological world. The internet people came out on Wednesday to set up internet as well, so I’d say that we are connected again! Hallelujah! It’s been too long! Message us if you want our new numbers.
Along with our new phones, we discovered an app that we love! It’s called “Offer Up” and we found pretty much everything we needed for our house and for Jedidiah’s room using this app. We got his room pretty much situated for so cheap! We bought a used convertible crib with a mattress and bedding, a changing table, a pack-and-play, and a rocking chair for like 300 bucks total. One of the ladies even threw in some brand new baby clothes and bibs for free. I felt like we won the lottery! It also helped us find some other things we needed for the house- a kitchen table and a desk for the office. We scored big on those items too. It’s been great. God has totally provided for us.
We were able to catch up with friends this week at two birthday parties. Trent’s best friend’s son was turning 7 this week so we joined him and his family and a bunch of our mutual friends to celebrate Gavin’s birthday. Then later that evening we were able to go to another birthday party- this time for one of my Bible Study girls. Andrea and Nate were having a joint birthday party. Strangely enough (another small world story), Nate (who I hadn’t met) is married to Jen, who we recognized from a marathon we ran together through a mutual friend in California. We had driven out to run the Big Sur Half Marathon to meet my girlfriend Rachel, who had been stationed in Alaska for a few years in the Army and was “home” for a visit. We met Jen through Rachel, but only for that one day. So how strange it was to be in her home, here in San Antonio, Texas. Anyways, I got to see quite a few good friends including my bestie Traci. I also got to meet my friend Abby’s youngest, who was born just after we left to return to China last summer. It was so great to see my peeps!
We got to attend our church for the first time this Sunday! It was so good to be back at Revolution Church and to see everyone there. We have sure missed this place and these people!
The other BIG news this week is that Trent got a job!!! He will be working in a self-contained classroom at Windcrest Elementary (NEISD). He is very excited about this position as he will be working alongside one of our previous colleagues and friends. We are so thankful that God has provided for us in this way. Coming back with no jobs and a baby on the way can be pretty stressful, especially since we didn’t get summer pay! Our last paychecks were our June ones before we left China, and we weren’t sure how long those would have to stretch. We are very grateful!
Symptoms this week: Hungry and tired! But whether that’s due to pregnancy or all the unpacking we’ve been doing, who knows? Baby boy has been very active which has been exciting for us! We’ve also changed the location for our weekly photos now that we’re back in our own house. We are taking them in Jedidiah’s room!