Monday, November 30, 2009

Stage 3 at 23 weeks

I'm really grateful that I've been able to stay so active during this pregnancy. It has made such a difference in how I feel both physically and mentally. It was really hard with Isaiah to hear how fat I was and being compared to the Asian ladies.... I know that I'm still not small this time around, nor will I ever be, but I would be surprised to hear many Chinese pregnant ladies say they are still running and hiking so my confidence is much higher this time around and I'm able to enjoy this pregnancy much more.

My legs though, well mostly my calves, have felt like dead weight the past few weeks... I've still been able to run but they just feel tight. So today, I opted for a hike and convinced Mike to come with me. We hiked the beginning of Stage 3 of the MacLehose Trail (where Mike does his 100K hikes each year) and cut out before the last climb where there is a trail that leads right back to our house. It's about 10K and it always frustrates me that I can run a 10K in about an hour but to hike this section it takes 2. But I had a lot of fun and it felt great. The only negative was just shy of the end of the trail, I tripped over a rock and fell. Thankfully, I just went straight down and landed on all fours. My main concern as I was falling was my glasses ... and thankfully they were okay. I cut and bruised my knee but nothing serious and nothing that stopped me for too long.

I was so proud that I didn't have any major problems and was even able to run a bit of the trail, that I treated myself to a calzone at our new Pizza and Sub shop and a gingerbread cookie from Starbucks. So I probably didn't end up burning any calories but it was fun. Just hoping my knee isn't too bruised so I can go for a run tomorrow too.

Here I am at the beginning of the trail... not a very flattering picture but I wanted proof that I at least attempted this hike at 23 weeks. :)

Here I am at the top of the stairs. I survived! I didn't do as bad as I thought I might. I always seem to doubt my abilities, especially when hills are involved so it was a great feeling to reach the top and push on from there.

This is just the last climb to the top... the beginning of this stage is about a full kilometer straight up. They don't do switchbacks in HK so it's straight up but I actually kinda like the challenge.

That was our hike. Afterwards, we met Joan, Izzy and Buddy in town for lunch and grocery shopping. Got myself 2 more shirts for less than 3$ US dollars (to wear while pregnant) and we got two movies to watch this evening.

It's been a fun and very relaxing day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast

We had a great day today celebrating Thanksgiving with our Hong Kong family. It's fun to introduce people to a new tradition/holiday! Many of our American friends were unable to attend this year, so the majority hanging out at our place today were Filipino. They commented on why I had cooked so much and very few actually ate like a normal American would nor even had dessert. But, we get the benefit of that as we've got LOTS of leftovers! Wohoo!

We had 2 turkeys, homemade stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, veggies, cranberry sauce, oreo turkeys and 5, yes 5 pies and a pumpkin cake. Everything was delicious but even better was the company we had.

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to share what we are thankful for and as I woke up this morning and thought about last year.... the first words out of my mouth last year were... "I'm SO thankful NOT to be pregnant!" Maybe I shouldn't have been so strong with my words... hehe. But God blesses in amazing ways and I was thrilled to be able to say how thankful I was that this pregnancy has been so fairly easy.

There are a million things to be thankful for if I really sat down to think of them and I need to get back into my habit of "Thankful Journaling" because it's so easy to get into a routine and find myself surviving life rather than living it. But I am so thankful for a God who loves and forgives and teaches and grows... for a God who 'loves me just the way I am but refuses to leave me that way." I'm thankful for an amazing family who supports, prays, loves... even though we're miles a part. I'm thankful for Mike who puts up with my insanity moments and pushes me to be more like Christ. I'm thankful that I have a husband who loves God and is committed to Him. I'm thankful for my sweet babies and the one on the way. I'm thankful that Isabella has a heart of gold and daily teaches me about loving and caring for others. I'm thankful that my boy shares my love of food and teaches me to smile and be joyful. I'm thankful for Princess Lily Bob who has made these past almost 6 months bearable... and allowed me to experience a normal pregnancy. I'm thankful that God has a plan for our lives and therefore I know that Princess Lily Bob was not an accident... that God has something amazing planned for its life. I'm thankful for Joan who helps me to stay sane by taking some of my dreaded homemaking responsibilities but more importantly cares for my kids like her own and allows me to be involved in ministry.

And those are just some of the people in my life.... I could go on and on and considering the past few weeks I've had... I should go on and on but I am teaching Lil K in the morning and I need my energy aka sleep.

It's been a great day and it's always a great reminder to remember the things that God has blessed you with and give thanks for those things. Sometimes it's even good to reflect on the challenges that you've had because God also allows for those things to make us stronger and more focused on Him.

Now we can begin to prepare ourselves for the birth of our Saviour! I'm so excited for Dec 1 because I've got lots of special things I would like to do with Isabella to teach her what Christmas is all about. Just praying that she'll be as excited as me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Mike

Mike got to spend his birthday doing what he loves.... hiking! Though I'm not sure hiking 100K is exactly how he wanted to celebrate. Last year's weather was unusually hot, this year it was unusually cold. Notice Mike all bundled up from the beginning of the hike.
I ended up having to sub in the afternoon so I missed the support stop 1 birthday party for Mike. We had hats, stickers, cupcakes.... and it was arranged that at the top of every hill there were birthday shouts... to the point where random people starting wishing him a Happy Birthday. We did thankfully get to see him at support stop 2. Izzy was there to cheer him on too.
Here he is in his fancy new red shoes. Notice the big smile.... they were making GREAT time!
Here's the team about to hit Checkpoint 3 and begin the big climb.
Mark, Mike, Lun and Brian (the same team as last year)
Unfortunately... the cold and wind won out. Mark physically got sick and quit. Then Lun's knees were bothering him too much and he quit. At this point, Mike was incredibly cold and unable to keep warm, which led to stomach problems and not being able to keep any food down. They still approx 40K to go and Mike knew that his body would not be able to physically handle those 40K without any fuel. So at 60K, Brian and Mike left the course.

I know it's incredibly disappointing for them... but I'm still proud. 60K is still a LONG way to hike in about 17hrs! And it was FREEZING too...

So that was how Mike spent his 32nd birthday and now he's paying for it with a cold. :) But we also celebrated during Sunday School with a Transformers themed party where they gave him a giant check for Starbucks. And at Nomads, the trailwalker celebration dinner, we celebrated with carrot cake.

So I hope that he's had a memorable birthday! We certainly look forward to what God has in store for the year ahead. I pray for good health and answers to his stomach problems and a passion to serve and know God more deeply than before.

I know we weren't with you very long on your birthday but you were thought about and prayed for and missed. We love you, Mike, and wish you the Happiest of years ahead!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Awana Picnic

Last Saturday, Awana held their family picnic at Clear Water Bay Country Park... on what turned out to be quite a windy/chilly day for Hong Kong. It was so nice to bundle up a bit and get outside. We BBQ'd and then had some kite flying contests. Izzy had a really good time and tried really hard to fly a kite but it was so windy that many of the pros were even struggling to keep the kite up and out of the trees. The park was gorgeous and we look forward to going back. Most BBQ areas are along the road without much space but this place had nice BBQ sites and lots of yard to run around too.

Here's Buddy waiting for the Awana crew to arrive

Izzy being Izzy and waiting as well

Mike helping to get the fires started
look at those blue eyes... they just melt your heart
Isabella trying her best to fly a kite

The only negative about this picnic is that it's impossible to keep a hat on Buddy and I he ended up with an ear infection. He didn't quite seem himself Saturday night and Sunday morning before we headed to church and I thought to just stay home... but I didn't want to and I paid for it! :) He was miserable all morning.... tired, runny nose and hurting ear. He wouldn't go to anyway and wouldn't let me put him down at all. He just cried and cried so loud that I couldn't even stay within the school grounds because he would've been heard during the service. So (and of course of all days, I chose to wear heels this week) I ended up walking all around Whampoa for 1.5hrs. He did manage to fall asleep for about 20 minutes and was much happier but still not quite himself. We came home and rested and then went into town for a little walk. The evening was much more enjoyable!

Yesterday was quite a fun day for me... I baked Pumpkin muffins, chili, lunch, went for a run and decorated some more. Today we're just chillin at home ... it's just too windy and chilly to be outside. I'm actually sitting by the heater right now! :)

It's a ...............

going to be SO hard to keep this a secret until Christmas!!! Especially when everyone keeps trying to trick me into it... I have to think so hard about my responses to anything baby related. But it is kinda fun for the moment! We even have a name picked out! I've been praying about the name and it was so cool how this one came and what it means!

But alas... the scan went very well. Princess Lily Bob is growing right on track! So I hope that means no big baby this time. I told the lady about Isaiah and his size and big tummy and she said not to worry that the baby was healthy and normal size. Ultrasounds are just so amazing and they seem even more amazing here in HK because they are SO clear. I could see the spine so clearly and the baby hiding it's face with it's hands and seeing each finger. What a miracle!

I go to see the Dr. this Wednesday for her to explain the scan but the lady who did it, explained everything so clearly I'm not sure what the Dr will tell me. Maybe this appointment will mean I can postpone my clinic appointment a bit longer. I enjoy going to the hospital! They seem more personable!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time to Exercise

We had an exciting time with our Moms this afternoon, exercising to Walk Away the Pounds. We had a large group squeezed into a smaller room with 2 of the little ones joining in the exercise... it was fun to see 2yr old Karen walking/kicking, etc. We then moved to the playground and wished Lisa well as she moves this Saturday to France.

Tomorrow's my big scan and I pray I can find out if we have another Princess or Prince on our hands.

Not much to share this evening.... :)

Oh forgot to add.... I got sick on my way to pick up Izzy from school so I decided to take a cab to mom time. When the driver pulled up and saw Izzy and Isaiah, he hopped out of the car and grabbed a plastic bag out of his trunk. It had 2 buses and an airplane toy in it and he proceeded to give them to the kids. I thought he was brilliant to have toys for longer rides and the toys totally entertained the kids the majority of the way there. When we arrived, I paid and handed back the toys and he said, "Oh no, those are for the children. For them to keep." Wow... so thoughtful and it was a great opportunity to talk to Izzy about sharing and giving just because. I was really blown away with his generosity.

I tend to get easily frustrated with people here... mostly because they're either in a rush or just strolling around at the slowest pace possible or because their idea of queuing is different than mine, etc... but I have had many moments when I've been totally surprised by the kindness, generosity and helpfulness of the people you would least expect. It makes me stop to think about what simple things can I do to make someones day a little brighter.

Monday, November 09, 2009

20 Weeks

Just because he's so cute....

20 weeks
though I'm INCREDIBLY grateful, it is hard to believe that I'm already at the half-way point of this pregnancy. As everyone says, "I guess that's what happens when you've already got children... you don't have time to focus on every little detail as you did with your first." In comparison, it has been a pretty easy pregnancy this go around and I'm quite grateful. I always felt like I didn't have a normal pregnancy, one that I could really enjoy, with planning to move across the world with Izzy and being sick with Isaiah... but I've learned and accepted, that I just don't enjoy this process. It's amazing how God created us and I really don't understand how anyone could deny Him if they really read/experienced pregnancy/giving birth but I enjoy two things while I'm pregnant.... 1. Announcing that I am and 2. getting the sweet baby at the end. (haha)

This past month has been a bit more challenging for me as I've had two occasions of almost passing out (luckily, I've got great friends who saved me just in time). I suffered this quite a bit with Isaiah and asked our Dr if there was anything I could do to prevent. Unfortunately, my blood pressure and iron are all normal so she said that I would just have to learn my limits. The problem lies in that when I'm standing in one place for just a few minutes is when I have problems and I end up doing that when I'm waiting for buses, teaching, etc... I've also had a few days that I've just needed to sleep a good chunk of the day or had to run to the loo.

But overall, I still feel pretty great. I'm still running and exercising which makes me feel better about the weight that keeps coming. I'm not having much problem sleeping and the weather is somewhat cooling down which makes life overall more comfortable.

There's no hiding the belly now but apparently I've been visibly pregnant for quite some time.... you must learn to appreciate the 'obvious' comments that you get here.

Izzy still insists it's a girl and I pray that we'll find out on Wednesday. I've been hearing mixed opinions on what the Public Hospitals will do so we'll just wait as see. Izzy has also asked to see the baby on the computer so I'm debating whether or not to take her with me. It could be a long time of just sitting.

We're narrowing down names but I must say this time it has seemed much easier to agree on names so hopefully, if we find out the sex on Wed, we'll be able to give it a name as well.

So here's to 20 more weeks! Can't imagine what that picture will look like! :)