Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween shower

Tonight was my friend Leslie's baby shower. Since it's halloween time, we decided on a halloween theme! Our friend Geneviveve threw it at her house and she went all out with the halloween theme! Lots of fall foods like apples, pumpkin dip, and of course some beautiful flowers!
I made my pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger snap crust and am very happy with how it turned out! it's my favorite recipe and this time i used real pumpkin instead of the canned stuff! Looked and tasted amazing!
Viva went all out with the decor as you can see! look at the bathroom and sparkling juice! I was excited cause i could drink it! Too bad it's not real wine

The mommy to be dressed up as Jasmine with a lamp on her belly! Too cute!! I dressed up as a mummy-to-be. Loved it and I won best costume!
A friend made this beautiful diaper cake! how cute! The bag is from me! Thanks to my cricut for decorating it!There were many other cakes besides the one I made! A friend had an adorable cake made with the pregnant halloween theme! so yummy and I love the pregnant mommy on top. Of course there were the two other diaper cakes! love them all!
The party was a great one and Genevieve did a great job planning it. Look how cute these gifts were! They had cute m&m's that said Baby Baxley on them. so cute!
After the party i helped clean up and Viva took my weekly photo for me! at 27 weeks, baby is the size of a cucumber... about 14-15 inches in length from head to foot. you can't really see my belly too much in this photo but you get the point!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ok... another update!

So last night, after I had already posted my update on Dima, I stumbled upon this photo on the 31st MEU's facebook page...
101022-N-5538K-166 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (Oct. 22, 2010) -- 1stLt. Dimitri Stepanoff, left, assigned to the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit unloads relief aid supplies from a Ch-46E Sea Stallion with the help of a Philippine national. HMM-262 (REIN) helicopters were used to provide initial bilateral relief assistance to isolated coastal areas that suffered severe damage due to Super Typhoon Juan (international name Megi). The assistance from the 31st MEU comes at the request of the government of the Philippines, and U.S. Marines and Sailors worked side by side with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to distribute aid. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey H. Kyhl)

Its so exciting to see things like this! Sure am glad for technology. Even though we have had very little communication since he left, I am grateful for when we have spoken and for photos like this! Literally 2 minutes after i stumbled upon this I got a call from him too! I hadn't heard from him in about a week so it was great to hear his voice! He was happy to hear about the photo and asked me to post it for others to see.

So today was a low key day, but I did get my 25 week photo done by my neighbor and friend Louise! Boy is that baby getting big! He is 8.5-9 inches in length from head to butt at this point... wow! I remember when he was the size of a poppy seed! Can't believe that in about 14 weeks, I will be a mommy! wow this pregnancy is flying by! I am not nearly close to ready with the nursery or other baby supplies!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Update on Dima

So I am of course the one to always write in this, even though it is the blog for BOTH Dima and I. Since Dima is away, there is never much to update on him. But I figured i'd write a quick blog about what he's been up to while deployed with the 31st MEU.
So I am not sure what i can and cannot talk about on here... of course i cant give dates or ideas of where he is going... heck i don't really know to be honest.
I do know he was bobbing around the water for awhile out there. He then went to the philippines for awhile and was supposed to be there still. It was then that a typhoon came to the philippines. The MEU moved out of the way of the typhoon into safe waters and then went there to do disaster relief. I have had trouble getting info on what is going on, but I did find this article that said this:
A US Marine from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa carries a sack of relief supplies for loading into a U.S. Marines CH-46E transport helicopters at a military airport in Cauayan township, for the three coastal towns of Isabela province which remains isolated due to typhoon Megi Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 in northeastern Philippines. The U.S. troops here for an annual naval military exercise were diverted for relief operation after Typhoon Megi, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year, ravaged Isabela and nearby provinces on Monday.

I also stumbled upon this photo on the MEU's facebook page... this is the helo dima flies in and i am positive he was in it when this photo was taken! sure do wish i could see him in the photo!photo.php.jpg

Well, that's all I know, and all I can discuss on him!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An Indian/Japanese/Italian/American evening!

This week, I am 24 weeks along and the baby is the size of an ear of corn. To keep with the Halloween theme this month, I decided to show that with an ear of Indian corn. This is taken along the seawall. there was a beautiful sunset going on, but unfortunately you cannot see that in these photos. Sorry! This is why I need a better camera! (i just ordered one today!)
we thought this was fitting! the baby graffiti next to the woman with a baby in her belly! I am def. looking very pregnant here. My belly normally does NOT look this big. I notice the baggy maternity clothes make me appear bigger then I really am. There really was a beautiful sunset, but i couldn't capture it in any of the photos! bummer!
Wow do I look big here! I wish these photos showed what i really looked like!

After taking my 24 week belly photo, some friends and I headed to Bella Napoli- a pizza restaurant I have been dying to try for months now! I wish Dima could have come with me, we will have to go when he returns. He has been wanting to go to this place for awhile.
I find it so odd still how we can find so many different kinds of food, even in Japan. I mean who goes to Japan and eats pizza? Apparently we do!
The place was beautiful... right on the seawall with this beautiful view of the water!
our meals included salad (we got an italian salad for my table of 4), garlic chicken (wayyyyyy too many spices and garlic... it was disgusting!), and teriyaki chicken, then the pizza of our choice. I ordered the curry pizza (without tuna) and it was pretty good. I will have to go back again to try this place with Dima. It was pretty yummy, but a tad over priced.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tour de Okinawa

Living here in Okinawa, we are very lucky to have a select amount of great friends. Many of those friends, are those who live just next door. We are so very lucky to have such wonderful neighbors, because it really makes the world of difference in our lives in okinawa. Last night, one of our neighbors, Kelly, sent a message to a bunch of us asking if anyone wanted to go on an electric bike tour with her the following day. It was not kid friendly, so I was the only one who could go. I love having neighbors who like to do random things like this like I do! It's nice to get out and do things like this sometimes, especially with Dima deployed right now.
So we met at Kadena at 8:30am to meet up with the bus and rest of the group going with us. We loaded the bus with snacks and plenty of water. We got to this place where there were a bunch of pink bikes outside lined up. Yes, they were pink!
These were not regular bikes. As you can see... they look kind of like cruiser bikes. But they are electric. They work like a regular bike, but when you have the power turned on, the bike gives you an extra push when you pedal. It was cool, especially for a pregnant girl like me! It was close to 95 degrees, i don't have many clothes that fit so was wearing jeans, and you get hotter when you're pregnant. So that extra push now and again was nice!
We rode along the beach pretty much the entire time. As you can see, it was a beautiful September day out!We rode along more and more along this beautiful beach and pulled over to this spot. The view was amazing, and the stuff down there was all coral! so pretty!

After that we went to this landing site for this japanese medical copter. It was so tiny, but leave it to the japanese to find ways to fit everything inside!
We then went riding along the beach more... what a beautiful site! Along this path we passed these beautiful chapels. I remember seeing thse online before. They are all glass in the back overlooking the ocean! So beautiful! I would be at church everyday if all chapels looked like this!
We then road along more and got to a place where we could take a break. We decided we wanted to explore this lighthouse nearby. It was so pretty. There were rock cliffs all over and lots of guys fishing off the sides. i even saw someone catch something. It was so pretty.
We then went back to our meeting place... and like most things okinawa, found a random assortment of things there. There was a small petting zoo. Here is Kelly and a baby goat.And there was a little shop with these awesome shisas! i want them so bad! love the boy!Then there was this huge shisa on the outside of it all. Biggest one i've ever seen!
We then rode back and went home. I loved this ride. What a pretty view. I wish dima was with me. It wouldve made a great date. I wish we could ride and then have a picnic. but i don't think we will have time for that with the baby coming in just a few months. Anyway that is it for now.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Scottish Baby shower!

Today was a baby shower for a friend of mine, Natalie. She is due in about 6 weeks and is having a boy (who isn't?). A friend, Megan, planned the whole thing and I must say, she went over the top for it. But Natalie deserved it! We are so happy to have made her so happy.
We went to this coffee and tea shop here, since Natalie is from Scotland it was very fitting! We had the entire upstairs of the place which was nice because there was a good group of us. We had a little menu of things to order, I got the cinnamon toast which was wonderful! Baby Stepanoff really enjoyed it!
We played baby shower games, of course! We did a quiz with questions about Natalie's mom's pregnancy and about Natalie growing up. It was a really cute idea. After that, we played the guess the size of the belly game, I guessed wayyy too big, whoops! Sorry, Natalie! We also played a game where we had to make a diaper out of toilet paper for one member of our team. Ours looked the most realistic, but it wasn't very thick. The toilet paper we used was REALLY bad and kept tearing. Oh well. Here is a photo of Maggie, the girl from our group who we dressed up! She could barely breathe without breaking it!
Natalie got to open her presents, and got some really adorable things! Lots of cute onesies, bath accessories, diaper accessories, toys, books and other great baby stuff.
Here is the diaper cakes that were made for her. two of them are sushi diaper cakes... one had baby socks and stuff in it and the other just diapers. The other diaper cake is a typical diaper cake which is beautiful!I got her a baby sling, nursing cover (little did I know a friend got the exact same one for her), and i made this canvas for her nursery. It's kinda far away, but it says "LOGAN" in black and "We made a wish and you came true" in white around it. She seemed to like it. I thought it was totally cute and can't wait to make one for our little baby. I just need a name first!

After that we all parted and I came home to an email from the hubby (yay!!!) asking me to send photos of myself and the dog. I hadn't taken my 21 week photo yet, so Courtney took a photo of me and my Banana. This week the baby is the length of a large banana from head to butt. That is about 7 inches. The banana in this picture is very small, but that's ok. As you can see, Ive gotten much bigger and FINALLY look pregnant! The first thing a friend said to me today when she saw me was, "Whoaa! you finally look pregnant! I just saw you 2 days ago and you didn't look like that!" It's funny how fast babies grow. I'm glad I look pregnant now and not like i just gained a ton of weight.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Half way there!

So we are officially more then half way through the pregnancy. Even less if he is born a week or two early like I hope. I am offically 21 weeks along now, leaving 19 until he is born if he is on time. But of course we are all crossing our fingers that he is a little early so his daddy can be home!

Yesterday I finally had my anatomy ultrasound. This is a more high tech ultrasound done between 18-22 weeks to check a bunch of things like the heart chambers, stomach, kidneys, bladder, brain, cord, placenta,and so on. I was crossing my fingers the whole time to see a boy part between the legs since I have bought boy stuff already. Literally the first thing I saw was two legs and a very large male part. Sure hope he grows into it.
The first 10 minutes or so were spent with a guy looking at different parts of the baby. He didn't really talk too much, but he did point to different things and just say, "this is the...." every once and awhile. He then had another guy try for a few minutes and I could tell he was learning how to do the ultrasound. They then had a woman come in and I realized both of the guys were learning it and she was the doctor. I'm glad I could help teach them!
The doc was very nice. I had heard great things about her, apparently she loves baby boys so she really loved my little man. She asked if i had anyone waiting in the waiting room for me so she could show them the baby, but of course with Dima deployed it was just me. She showed a photo of the legs and asked if i wanted to know what it was. I laughed and said, "there's no mistaking that is a boy." She thought this was funny I guess and said she hoped i did want to know. If i didn't want to know, I wouldve been very mad because there was no mistaking it.
She looked around for awhile and showed the two guys different things that I didn't understand. She was very friendly and overall it was a good experience. I couldn't see very well and my neck hurt very bad from craining it to see though!
She did do some fun shots for me. She got the baby to look at the camera at one point and i swear to you he smiled at me. Sure did melt my heart! I can't wait to see that smiling face in person! She showed me his crossed arms once, and he was putting his hands in his mouth a lot as you can tell in this photo below. I wish she had printed it, but he also had his hands up as if he was praying at one point. It was adorable!
While she got him to smile at the camera, she got this one. We thought it looked like he was ready for halloween so she printed it for me for giggles. His first halloween in-utero will be spent as a skeleton I guess!
We didn't get much else. She did show this one to me because i thought his butt was so darn cute! Can't wait to see it!
This will most likely be the last ultrasound for awhile (possibly until I go into labor) so I am glad I got to see so much! He is one adorable baby and i cannot wait to meet him!

Today Joe helped me get the crib and dresser together. Now that the baby's bedroom is all painted and ready, it was time to put it together. I was sad that Dima couldn't help with it, but I really needed it put together and couldn't wait until December.
We had a heck of a time with the dresser/changing table. The slots to slide the drawers into were a pain and it took 3 tries before we finally figured it out. The instructions were worse then ikea, there are no words of course. We ended up getting the dresser done and put to the side while we worked on the crib. The crib seemed easy to do actually. We put the mattress up as high as it goes and once he's bigger we will move it lower so he can't climb out. I am so very happy I chose to get a black crib. It's so sharp looking and will look good even when he's a teenager (it converts into a toddler and full size bed). The only problem with the crib is that it was missing a screw. The company has a website to report missing pieces, so it should be easy to get a new one, but the problem is having it shipped here. I think it will be fine though since we have a US address.
Here is the finished product. Unfortunately we have these awful tile floors that I had to cover with a carpet. The carpet is not wall to wall (our resources are limited!) and the only way I could get it to fit so that the crib wasn't on a slant was to push the carpet all the way to one wall. We have a glider and ottoman on the way soon too so this was the best way to arrange the room.
I will be putting a shelf above this crib with Samaurai swords (don't worry, they will be made of wood) and some Shisha dogs on it. I also plan on getting a black bookshelf to put to the left of the crib for toys, books, and a bunch of other stuff. I will also be hanging a photo with Kanji on it for the name (if we ever decide on one). It should look good.
This all looks pretty bare now. In the corner there will be the glider and ottoman for late night feedings. I also plan on getting a short shelving unit for next to the dresser for diapering stuff. I will have to hang a wet bag on the other side of the changing table since I will be going with cloth diapers. I will hang some kind of photo above this too. I'm not sure what it will be of yet. Maybe a dragon or samurai or something.
Here are the first photos I have hung. They are on the small wall directly as you walk in. The top is of the Taiko drummers.. aka the Eisa dancers of Okinawa. The bottom is of the Torii gate.. a symbol of Japan. I love these photos and think they really give the room the japanese feel as soon as you walk in! I can't wait to see the room later on!

The baby is now the size of a banana (7 inches in length) and I will post the weekly fruit photo soon. Still deciding what to do for it! Last week was a cantaloupe and we did a mexican theme since we celebrated louise's birthday with a mexican theme. I can't wait to get the photo from Kelly!

For now, bedtime for Neko, baby, and I. I am exhausted. A good thing, since I have so much energy nwo that I am up late and wake early. Guess I should take advantage of this tiredness while it lasts!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today we got to celebrate thanksgiving in August. Dima will be deployed for the actual thanksgiving, so I took it upon myself to create thanksgiving early this year. We were excited for our first thanksgiving alone (we are usually with family) and i was a bit nervous of making the whole thing on my own once again. All went well though. I made mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, and of course turkey. I tried an apple rosemary turkey where i stuffed the bird with cut up apples and rosemary sprigs, then stuffed the skin with rosemary and sage. It was basted every half hour in an apple juice/butter blend and came out very fragrant and yummy. I was terrified I would overcook the turkey, but it actually came out perfect. I have to say it was the best turkey I ever had. No offense to my mom and dad!

Here I am preparing dinner. I am 17 weeks pregnant in this photo which is the akward stage where I look like i'm just gaining weight.
Here's the turkey. Man did it look great! I am very proud of myself!
Dima finally got to carve the turkey. That was always his dad's job, so now that he's a dad to be he got to do the honors.
Poor dima tourtured Neko with the food.
After the dinner, Neko passed out. The turkey must have gotten to him! He could barely keep his eyes open.
Then Dima came over and played with him. Here they are looking very silly playing together.
We had a great thanksgiving. I doesn't make it any better that dima will be away for the real one, but it is good that we got to celebrate the holiday together. I look forward to many more thanksgiving dinners in the future.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

No sushi for preggers...

This morning, Dima had to go into work for a meeting at 6am. When he finally returned around 10:45, i was in the mood to go out for lunch. I was really in the mood for this one place we have gone to many times now. It is a sushi restaurant that sells a bunch of great meal sets for only 980 yen a person at lunch. It's a beautiful place, but for some reason they have had this one sign about their "grand open" for awhile now. Since 2002 from what I heard! Not to mention they have some pretty views of some pretty Okinawa scenery right around the corner! (we really do live in paradise!)

We both ordered a meal set which includes a drink, soup, salad, tempura, an appetizer, a meal, rice, and a dessert.

The place is really nice inside. They have a really pretty sushi bar and we always sit at the tables that are in the ground so you sit on the floor with your legs under the table.

I would have loved to have some sushi, but of course, can't eat all the good stuff since i'm pregnant. Dima ordered the sushi plate which looks like this.
Man that salmon looked good!

I ordered chicken terriaki, which was ok I suppose. It tasted more fried then I like i guess. It was still good though. I was able to snag the shrimp sushi off dima's plate since it's cooked and that made me happy enough!

All in all, it was a good lunch. Like i said, we love this place and go all the time.