Tag Archives: Bump

Baguio!

18 Jun

We just returned from a wonderful getaway in the cool mountains of Baguio! It is such a break from the heat up there. 70 in the day time and 60’s at night. Perfect!

We left on Friday the 13th, which turned out to be a bad idea, as superstitous types would confirm. To start off the day, Josh took his ministry team to the airport at 5:30am. On his way home, he was literally run off the road by a swerving provincial bus. When they met up again at a stop light, Josh, er, confronted the driver, who immediately pulled a pipe out from underneath his seat, ready to take the confrontation to the next level! Thankfully, a policeman was nearby and dispelled the situation. Or rather, he did nothing and Josh just got back in the car and left.

So that was travel issue #1. #2 was that we got a speeding ticket on the expressway. First of all, speeding is luxury here that one only gets to experience on the expressway, because there is traffic everywhere else! Second of all, who knew that ANY rules of the road were ever enforced here?!? Our friends have all been shocked when we tell them we got a speeding ticket. Josh was going 120kph in a 100kph, which is considered reckless driving. (I hope that provincial bus found himself on the expressway that day too!)

If that was the extent of that experience, we would’ve been thrilled. The ticket was just over $20, so it didn’t really sting like it does in the US. However, the traffic enforcer said that he needed to confiscate Josh’s license. We’ve always been told never to let them confiscate our license, so when we said, “Nope, we can’t do that,” he said, “Ok. Then we need to confiscate your license plate. You can pick it up in Quezon City on Wednesday.” Seriously, SO bizarre! I said, “Can we please just settle it now with you?” He laughed, because he thought I was offering a bribe. I really wasn’t. I just wanted to pay the fine, and let it be done, because we both knew that Josh was going 120kph, we just didn’t realize that anyone cared!

He kept saying that there was no other option but to confiscate something and have us go pick it up this week. The license or plate is a deposit to make sure we go pay the fine. However, if we didn’t pay the fine, it would just show up the next time we register the car, so WHY NOT JUST DO THAT? OR MAKE IT PAYABLE ONLINE?! Thankfully, he accepted Josh’s expired US license and said that a friend can go get it for us, so that’s doable.

We discovered a Krispy Kreme on the way, and our car is programmed to stop at those, so we had no choice.

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On to issue #3! We stopped for gas at the base of the mountain. Josh decided to air up one of our tires as well. There is always an attendant to do it for you over here, so we waited while he aired it up. However, he never got the chance because the valve broke (on our brand new tire) and the tire went immediately flat! Thankfully, there is always a vulcanizer (tire repairman) around the corner, so after 45 minutes and lots of gas station snacks for the kids and I, we were back on the road, praying for one more hour of smooth travel. In the back of my mind, I was thinking, “hmmmm….if an earthquake were to hit Baguio again, this would be the day it would happen!”

Thankfully, we made it up the mountain and were tucked away in our cabin in no time. Sometime during the night, without a doubt before midnight still on the 13th, the other front tire went flat! Crazy…

Anyway, that was the last issue we had, and it was followed by a wonderful getaway in between Josh’s ministry trips!

Caleb wore his Krispy Kreme hat all day long!

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That night, we had a chili dinner in our cottage, which tastes SO much better when its cold out! Then we built a fire and had s’mores, always a favorite.

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Caleb’s first s’more & Kenzie’s 2,658th

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(Sorry, so dark I know. I didn’t really realize it until just now!)

I don’t usually get to see the kids in anything except summer clothes, so I love how different they look in something with sleeves!

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The guest home has a tire swing in the courtyard now, so the kids spent endless hours on it! That place is the perfect retreat for us. Cool, quiet, safe, and full of activities for the kids. I love it.

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That morning, we ventured out to Burnham Park and the market. The park had all kinds of fun activities for cheap cheap cheap, so we were able to do a number of them! One included our own boat ride in the center pond.

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We also did some bumper cars, and bought some mangoes already cut up and ready to eat. Josh bought his girls some silver jewelry, as one MUST do when in Baguio!

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Then we headed over to the market to shop and buy some strawberries. Not only did I find the strawberries, but they also had cherry tomatoes, which we all love, so I bought a bunch of those in different stages of ripeness so we could enjoy them all week.

All the activity and fresh air knocked Caleb out! I love how his little hands are folded!

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We were planning to find somewhere unique to eat, but then it started pouring out, so we just went to Ol’ Faithful. Look at the size of these fries! We couldn’t even finish them.

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By the time we got back to the cottage, our friends were just arriving. They came a day later than us. The kids were all so excited to see their besties. Since it was still raining out, we spent the afternoon in the lodge, playing fooseball, ping pong, and shuffleboard.

The next day, Father’s Day, was all dried out, so after an egg and corned beef hash brekkie, we headed to the other must-do’s in Baguio. We went to Camp John Hay, which looks less and less American every time we go there. It was owned by the US military until they left in the early 90’s. There are still spots that look familiar to me from my childhood, but it’s all pretty different now.

One thing that is hanging in there, though, is the miniature golf course. It was always my favorite Baguio activity as a kid and I love that it’s still there. It’s definitely a dump now, but we just laugh about it.

Here are some of the disturbing obstacles.

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The courses are all bumpy and the green is carpet that has 1/2 cm wide seams, so the course has even more obstacles than just the creepy statues!

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After mini-golf, we headed down to Wright Park for some horseback riding. I’ve discovered that I’ve been to Baguio three times since we moved here in 2005, and all three times, I’ve been pregnant! So I’ve never gotten to ride horses with the kids.

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The kids loved it and Caleb kept saying, “I want to ride the horsey more!” I stayed on the sidelines, munching on banana cue, which is fried cooking bananas on a stick. One of my favorite street foods here!

It was still not raining, so we just kept going with the fun activities. We headed over to Mines View for some shopping. It was pretty rocky, so I loved seeing Bella grab Caleb’s hand to make sure he didn’t fall.

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While we were there, we saw dried/fried squid on a stick, so Josh offered the kids some shopping money if they ate some. They had the choice of squid heads, squid bodies, or entire mini-squid. They went with the body, and they all did it!

Mackenzie even loved it and was going to use her own money to buy her own stick!

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It tasted OK, but the aftertaste was icky, so I bought some more green mango to take care of that. We all had fun shopping, especially the kids, since they all had P50 (just over a dollar) to spend. Deacon bought a sling-shot, Bella bought a purse, Kenzie bought a necklace, and Caleb bought a wooden snake. I bought a pair of knitted booties for baby #5.

Speaking of He-Who-Is-Not-Named, I snapped a bumpie since our cottage has a full-length mirror.

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This is about 26 weeks. It feels a lot bigger than it looks! Although, in this family pic that Dave took, it looks pretty big.

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The next day, we went to The Manor, a beautiful, rustic hotel on Camp John Hay, for their buffet breakfast. It was to celebrate Father’s Day, but we were nervous that it would be too crowded that day, so we went the next day. It was fantastic! Us parents sat outside and drank our coffee while the kids played on the playground.

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Of course, we have to take the picture on the wall, overlooking the mountains! I think my parents have a few hundred of these from my childhood!

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At this point in my phone, there are 50+ pics of flowers that Mackenzie took. They are actually quite beautiful! Bella also confiscated my phone later and took another 50 of an itchy worm they found.

He was still inching around when I got my phone back, so I grabbed a pic of Caleb checking him out.

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More tire swing fun!

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See Kenzie’s sneakers? They are my size 10 Nikes!!!! They are still a little big for her, but she needed new sneakers and loved them, so I was all about passing them on. They had too many miles on them, so I don’t use them for running anymore, but they are still in great shape, so I didn’t want to get rid of them. I still can’t believe she’s almost my shoe size…

That day, the kids played together outside for over 10 straight hours! It was incredible, and so refreshing to see them creating their own fun!

We were going to stay an extra day, but Caleb woke up sick on Tuesday, so we just decided to hit the road like we originally planned. The last time we went to Baguio, Deacon was the same age and he got sick on our last day there! What’s the deal?

Caleb was lethargic and had diarrhea, so we just figured that he’d sleep the whole way home. However, the curvy mountain road was enough to help him throw up in the car! Thankfully, it happened right in front of a vegetable stall, so I sent Josh to buy all of my mountain veggies while I cleaned Caleb up. He fell asleep after that and seemed much better after a nap. I think he’s good to go now!

As we speak, Josh and the three oldest are at basketball camp. Josh is helping with it and the kids are hopefully learning all kinds of great skills, making friends, and having fun!

 

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Surprise!!!

23 Mar

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Written about 2 months ago….

 

Even as I took the test, I was sure that it was negative. My cycle was off around this time last year, and those tests were all negative, so I figured this was the same situation.

I don’t take the tests like they do in the movies and on TV, where they actually wait the 3 minutes, talk about the what-ifs, and then look. I don’t take my eyeball off that strip until I see or don’t see the lines.

This was a completely different experience than my last 6 pregnancies, where I was hoping and praying I’d see that extra line. I was super casual, just wanting to confirm what I already knew, that our family of 6 was complete. But when that second line started to show up, ever so faintly, I blinked repeatedly, rubbed my eyes, and dropped my jaw in the biggest shock of my life. As a million thoughts ran through my head in a matter of seconds, that positive line just got darker and more solid, confirming that our lives were about to be way different than we had planned.

With my past pregnancies, I always shared the exciting news with Josh in a cute or fun way. This time, I was so shocked, that I just intercepted him in the hallway and shoved the test into his line of vision. He didn’t even know what I was showing him! He was the one who bought the test for me, but he was just as casual about it as I was. He had even forgotten that I was taking the test.

We both just stared at each other for a few seconds, with eyes as big as saucers. Then we hugged, cause that’s what you’re supposed to do. Then we just kept shouting out random thoughts throughout the day. “We need more wipes!” “No maternity coverage! Does that mean no epidural?” “I want to name him Jedi” (That was Josh) “What about coaching?!”

Here are some of the other thoughts that have crossed my mind over the last few weeks...

– I don’t have a stitch of maternity clothing. (Although my sister in law and my mom came through with a great stash for me! Thanks!!!)

– Just when I thought we were done with diapers FOREVER!

– We need to get a new dining table. Ours only sits 6.

– We no longer have maternity coverage on our insurance, so we’re going to have to do this jungle-style.

– This is a tie-breaker! One gender is about the outnumber the other. Well, Bella says that we have 4 boys and 3 girls in our family, because Bo is as much of a sibling as the humans in her life.

– We’re definitely finding out the gender. The gender-reveal celebrations are kind of new since my last gender revealing ultrasound (Deacon), and I thought we wouldn’t get to experience the fun. I was wrong!

– I have been getting rid of EVERYTHING as Caleb grows out of it. Clothes, toys, sippy cups, stuffed animals. We’ll have to get all new gear!

– It might take a while to wrap my mind around the fact that Caleb isn’t the baby of the family!

– I’m SO excited to nurse again!

– 5 kids….whew!

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So, all of that was written in the few days after we found out, around 5 weeks along. Now I’m almost 14 weeks along, so it’s starting to sink in. There is a reason God gives us 40 weeks to get used to the idea! I think it’ll take me that long. I honestly didn’t really believe it until I went to the doctor two weeks ago. When the ultrasound tech turned the screen towards me and I saw my little 2″ miracle give a stretch and a wiggle, I just started laughing.

The baby measured 11 weeks, which was a few days further along than I had thought. After the dr appointment, we went ahead and decided to tell the kids. Here’s the video…

It was fun to tell them, especially the girls, since they are old enough to appreciate the significance. The entire drive home from the restaurant, they talked about names. The girls cycled through the American Girl names, and Deacon hit all of the Star Wars names (Sorry, buddy, Obiwan is out.) Josh threw out “butthead” which was received by roaring laughter.

HOW I’VE FELT…..I’ve felt nauseous and tired since 6 weeks, but I think I’m on the upswing now. I was less nauseous¬† (meaning, I never threw up) than I was with Caleb and Deacon, so it might be a girl???

I feel so much better if I exercise, but it’s so hard to get out and exercise when I’m not feeling great! What a pickle! Speaking of… pickles always sound so great to me, but they are expensive and hard to find, so that’s one craving that I have to skip. My aversions have jumped around. Sometimes chicken sounds great, and sometimes it triggers a Lloyd Christmas gag. Burgers ALWAYS sound amazing, and french fries are even better. Pizza, yes please! Anything carbalicious hits the spot, and I’ve always said that nothing feels as satisfying as giving into a pregnancy craving. I’ve been eating more this pregnancy than I remember in the others, so I might be on my way to gaining more weight than ever!

I’m still totally intimidated about having 5 kids, and SOOOOO not up for another labor, but since the decision has been made for me by the One with the perfect plan for us, I’m totally cool with it and know that years from now, I’ll wonder what life was like before the addition of this beautiful child!!!