a snowy last day of feb

It was lovely to wake up and see everything in white and still snowing at that!

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Yahoo was right on with the current weather (but not before. Yahoo forecasted only rain last night)

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But when I saw the walkway, I balked and was daunted. I was scared of slipping in the snow again, given my condition.

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Thankfully this kind of fresh snow is not slippery so I made it to office without any mishaps. よかった!⛄⛄⛄
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It’s still snowing heavily after 8 hours!! 🙂 A memorable leap day indeed!

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and so we’re ready to share our great news

Absurd as it may seem to some, I’ve known I was pregnant since week 1. When I suffered from gikkori goshi back in first week of January, I told the physical therapist to take care as I was pregnant. By week 3, I was starting to get nauseous and I was thinking at that time that if I’m not pregnant, I can’t imagine how difficult it can get since I was already uncomfortable with the nausea. Little did I know that my nausea at that time was really just the tip of the iceberg. It-can-get-really-worse especially when the vomiting kicks in.

Come week 4, it was just a matter of waiting for my monthly as I am pretty regular. When the day passed by and I didn’t get a visit, I was already looking forward for the weekend to have the test. But in that week 4, the sleepiness and tiredness has already kicked in. Imagine having fatigue associated with pregnancy and yet having had to be mentally alert during a series of difficult HAZOP meetings!! I remember whenever we have breaks and my tummy would hurt, I talk to baby in the toilet and say “baby, please be with mommy on this. Let’s answer their questions even when the going gets tough already”. Imagine talking to your baby even before taking the pregnancy test! Haha. That’s how confident I am that our little one is growing inside me already.

When Saturday rolled in, first thing I did was take the test. Of course the line was there, albeit really faint still.

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But the next few days, there were a series of mishaps that got me really fearful for baby – I had some spotting (read a lot about this being normal but still it’s worrying), we fell down a flight of stairs because of the snow, we met a witch ob/gyn who coldly hinted, with her back facing me, that I might have ectopic pregnancy. All of these prompted me to test almost twice a day, morning and night. I think I had at least 10 tests in that my hubby was already laughing on how addicted I was with the testing. Haha. I finally stopped the tests when I had consistent result like this.

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And of course I was praying unceasingly as well whilst taking the tests.

Looking for an ob/gyn was quite tough though. I’ve read a lot of gaijin blogs complaining how there is a world of difference between ob/gyns here in Japan and on the West/Philippines. Honestly, it took me a long time to accept that things are really different and that I just have to try and make up for what’s lacking. The moment I did this, things certainly got better – which was what happened last Saturday.

Now, much as we wanted to share our happiness the moment we knew about our latest great blessing, we had to have some restraint. It’s a big oxymoron, we wanted to share our great news but we need to keep it to ourselves for the mean time because even the doctors cannot confirm yet if my pregnancy is healthy. And I realised why things are so. Apparently, we went to the doctor way too early, just when I was only 4 weeks and barely 6 weeks when usually pregnant women have their first check at 7 or 8 weeks. Since my baby is still very small, doctor couldn’t measure yet and since they don’t have a record of my basal body temperature, they couldn’t give us any assurances. And what we can only do is pray.

Lat Saturday though, after measuring baby and showing me baby’s heartbeat, the doctor looked really happy to tell me baby is normal. He even looked really happy to show hubby baby’s photo.

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Doctor must have seen the worry in our faces. He looked really happy he himself inserted our baby’s photo into the birth album that their hospital gives to pregnant women.

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Even when we’ve visited their hospital twice before already with ultrasounds on each visit, it was only this time that they really considered my check as an official one, noting it so in the birth album record.

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They also instructed us to go to the ward office to ask for the boshitetcho (母子手帳) so we can get some benefits and also register my pregnancy.

And so because of how the doctor’s visit went, we decided it’s time to share our joyful news.

With this sharing is also a prayer that this is a harbinger of more blessings to count as we witness the growth of this miracle inside my womb. 🙂

my magic umbrella

We bought this umbrella back in October during our visit in Enoshima. But it was only today that I was able to use it.

When dry, it looks plain and simple.

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But once it gets wet, it transforms, creating little wet sakura prints.

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Can’t figure out yet though how it is possible. But it’s so cute it makes me want to wish its raining everyday. 😀

my sweet potatoes

I’ve always loved sweet potatoes ever since we were kids and we’d snack on it. Goes without saying that I associate them as well with happy childhood memories. That and the other merienda food that our parents prepare for us for the 3o’clock snacks.

But when I tasted the Japanese sweet potatoes, I was even more hooked! They were just so creamy and sweeter. They’re usually sold around here, roasted, sitting atop very hot stones. Holding hot sweet potatoes on a cold winter (they are more usually sold around here during the cold season) is like a happy thing, making you smile like a kid with his cotton candy.

And oh, did you know that sweet potatoes are considered super food? They’re rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C (which is not just for a healthy immune system but also plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation; helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity, and is essen­tial to helping us cope with stress), Vitamin D for a happier sun-shinier you, Iron for more energy and better red & white blood cell production, Magnesium the anti-stress and relaxation mineral, Potassium to help regulate heartbeats and nerve signals, Carotenoids for better eyesight.

For the more thorough details on the benefits of sweet potatoes, click here.

Every now and then, I’d buy sweet potatoes when we do our weekly groceries. When earlier, I saw a big pack of small sweet potatoes, I just had to buy even when it was a big pack because the small sizes would make it easier to cook and consume. I don’t have to cook everything all at once.

We were surprised though when we peeled our potatoes after I had it steamed.

It’s violet!

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It being violet, it probably doesn’t have the carotenoids usual in their orange counterparts. But they’re still sweet and creamy alright and probably still contains all the vitamins and minerals sweet potatoes have. Will boil more, tomorrow. 🙂

them three things

Counting and naming our 3-things-to-be-grateful-for-for-the-day had been a source of enjoyment for hubby and me, these days. Most of the evenings, we would cap the night by recalling our three things; some of which could trigger us to laughter when otherwise it would have led to petty sulking. That’s one boon probably of thinking of things to be grateful for – you get to see the positive side of an otherwise could-have-been unpleasant experience.

I have suffered from severe colds the past days and so I’m very thankful that today, I was well enough to go to office albeit my voice is still nasal.

And because I was able to go to office, I was able to have lunch with a great person, who has inspired me a lot. The number of times we had interacted could probably be counted with my fingers. Few though they may be, trust that the words of wisdom you’ve shared and your words of encouragement, I’d always be grateful for. Thank you.

And because I was able to go to office, I was able to attend the HAZOP closing of my difficult system.

And because I was able to go to office, I was able to walk to and fro office together with hubby, giving us more quality time together.

Oh, that’s four already. No matter. Let’s keep counting! 🙂

Valentines!

While most of the men in most other countries are racking their brains for original ideas on how to surprise their women on Valentine’s Day, it’s the women who are busy here in Japan every 14th of February. They bake cakes, cookies, chocolates, and other pastries, to give to their men or crushes on top of thinking of ways on how to be original about it. For some who doesn’t have the time to bake though, chocolates and cakes in pretty boxes are available everywhere.

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Ten years back when we were first assigned here in Yokohama, we were so amazed on how all of the customers in chocolate stalls as the ones above were only women.

Supposedly, the women give the men gifts on Valentines Day and the men, in reply would give the women gifts on White Day – March 14. We were told that if you gave a guy you were crushing on a gift on V-day and you didn’t receive anything on March 14, well, one could pretty some up the story. 😛

As for me and Hubs, we definitely wouldn’t be going somewhere special tonight as I am now currently in bed, sneezing very loudly, eyes barely open, and tears continuously falling because of very very bad colds. Was absent yesterday, hubby had to be absent as well to accompany me to the hospital as I was already running a fever. Woke up today feeling better so I went to office, only to go back home after staying an hour in the office because I can barely keep my eyes wide open; my tear-filled eyes can’t take the office lights. Plus, I was sneezing and coughing loudly.

I did give Hubs a red, heart-shaped box of creamy Lindt chocolates, one of my favourite brands. But I can’t have even a piece because my throat is swollen.

Dear St. Valentines, please do hear my plea and take this colds away from our house.

And oh! Have you seen today’s Google doodle? A good reminder that it’s not what can be googled and bought but rather it’s the time spent together that matters most. 🙂 Happy Valentines everyone!

RIP, Whitney Houston

I remember receiving, probably around 2004, when forwarded emails in the office are still the fad, an email with a PowerPoint about Whitney and how ungrateful she had been with all the blessings she had received because of how she succumbed to drugs. I remembered being shocked and being angry to whoever was the originator of the email for spreading lies about Whitney. One search on the Internet though and the truth was confirmed.

It has been a tough battle for her and her family. Especially since on the latter years, the world hadn’t been nice to her, using her story as a cautionary tale, demanding more out of her and her voice when it was evident she lost it already.

Now Whitney can have a respite from her struggles. May you rest in peace Whitney.

As for me, my heart grieves on what you’ve been through and how now, we lost your golden voice for good. But that same golden voice would always be ringing in my ears the way I heard it when I was six and was practicing “The Greatest Love of All” for our Kindergarten graduation, the way I heard it when I practiced “Where do broken hearts go” and “I wanna dance with somebody” back in my Center for Pop days.

Rest in peace Whitney. And with this is the prayer that the world will remember you more during your glory days and not the days of your fall from the limelight. You put up a brave fight. And I hope the world will also remember that. And thank you Whitney, for the songs. You are missed.

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