Sunday, March 31, 2013

Settling in...

I am almost done with my update on our trip to Iceland in January so until then I thought I would share a bump update!  Here is the the latest pic that we took before we left China.

26 weeks!

Joel and I have been back for 5 days now and are starting to get over our jetlag.  Joel is doing much better than I am but I am getting there!  We have spent a little time catching up with friends and family. We had a wonderful Easter, church and then brunch and so far we are have a great time being back!  We are now relaxing in the mountains, sitting by the fire waiting for the snow that is expected tonight.  Life is good!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We're coming home!

Our second big news (first being Olive of course) for the year 2013 is that Joel and I have made the decision to leave China.  March 17th marked our 2 year anniversary here and after much debate we decided that 2 years was enough for us.

I'll fill you in on the details for now and keep you updated as we figure out our next big adventure...

We knew before I found out that I was pregnant that Joel's work contract was up for renewal and we would have to decide in the next few months whether he was going to sign a new contract or start a job hunt.  Enter Olive.  Our thoughts at first were that I would fly home at 7 months pregnant (at suggestion of my doctor to fly no later than that)  and that Joel would stay a few months past his contract and then follow me out when it was time for her arrival.  At this point when we made this decision we hadn't decided whether we would return to China or not after Olive was born.  After we had decided this we still went back and forth.  I was not happy to be leaving Joel here and flying home with out him.  What if the baby comes early?  I told him I didn't think any job was worth missing the birth of his first child.  Plus he would miss the end of my pregnancy, which we have both been enjoying so much.  So after much deliberation we decided that it was worth the risk of Joel taking a break from working to be home in CO for the summer and the birth of our daughter.

Now, of course Joel has been job hunting, we flew from CO to London (with a stop in Iceland!) after Christmas so Joel could make a few contacts for a future job.  He is currently looking outside the US at several different options so that he can maybe have a start date after Olive's big arrival.  When we know for sure where we will be next I will let everyone know.  We just know that even though our China adventure may be coming to a close, our adventurous spirits are still ready and willing to move somewhere new and exotic!

We fly home home on Tuesday and couldn't be more excited.  The movers came a few days ago and we are living in an empty apartment!  We moved here with three large suitcases each and are leaving here with three large suitcases each and 36 boxes following us on a cargo ship.  Lol, oh well.

Joel and I have been spending lots of time saying goodbye to friends here.  We had a big going away dinner with everyone for Joel's work that was really a nice way to say goodbye.  The ladies from the Healing home also had a going away lunch for me yesterday and I know that I am going to miss all of them!  There are many things that we will miss about living here but overall we can tell that our time here is done.  Will we even come back?.... Never say never!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Olive Elizabeth

Many of you have heard our good news but I thought I would share a little more on the blog.  Joel and I are having a little girl who is supposed to arrive on July 4th!  We are so excited, we are slowly preparing for Olive to be here and can't wait to hold her in our arms!

Most people have asked us if we were trying for a baby and the answer is no, but it wouldn't have been much longer so it was a very happy surprise.  We just thought it would be after we left China but the timing has actually worked out since we are moving at the end of March (more on that in a later post), which gives us time to be home with family and friends when we welcome Olive into the world.

When we found out I was pregnant I took an at home pregnancy test that was positive but it wasn't the easiest thing.  The pregnancy test we took was all in Chinese, even though the lady at the pharmacy told us there was english!  So what normally takes one minute to find out took us over an hour of google translate and other internet searches to figure out what the darn thing said.  Needless to say, you can imagine how anxious we were trying to interpret it and find out if we were having a baby or not.  We finally figured out that two lines means positive.  Finding out was great but it really didn't sink in until a few weeks later when we went to the doctor to confirm it and saw a little bean on the ultra sound and heard her heart beat for the first time.

Anyone read Chinese?

The timing of finding out we were pregnant was perfect, it was just a few weeks before we flew home to visit family for Christmas so we were able to tell a lot of our family and friends in person.  It was fun to be able to see peoples reactions.  Mostly it was shock and then excitement, pretty much the same reaction we had.  Unfortunately I had horrible morning sickness for the first few months (they really should call it all day sickness!) so I didn't feel great while I was home but I am feeling good now and have a lot of my energy back.  The funniest thing about keeping the secret for a few weeks was that my dad traveled to China for work and was able to fly home with me (Joel followed a few days later).  I was so sick, even on the plane but somehow managed to hide it!  He had no idea!  Lol.

Just a few weeks ago Joel and I found out that we were having a girl and it came as a surprise.  I had everyone tell me they thought it would be a boy, we had even started referring to the baby as "he".  I was super excited right away, visions of a pink nursery in my head, but Joel's first reaction was... "Oh crap!  She is never allowed to date!"  Lol.  I told him I thought we had plenty of time until we had to deal with that.  We were lucky though that it was a girl because I had already decided on a name (with Joel's approval of course!)  and if it would have been a boy we were sort of at a loss.  The name comes from my dad's side of the family.  My grandma Cooper had done some of our family genealogy a few years back and I had seen the name on a list in her house and it stuck with me.  Olive was my grandfather's aunt.  There are a few coincidences that we learned after choosing the name that I thought were a bit erie... First was that our Olive is due July 4th and her namesake was born on July 2nd.  Also, the elder Olive's mother's name was Elizabeth and we had already chosen Elizabeth as a middle name before learning that.  Crazy!   Here is a little info on her if anyone is interested...
Olive May Cooper was born on July 2, 1881 in Mount Pleasant Vicksburg Kansas.  She was the daughter of James Samuel Cooper and Elizabeth Jane Paine Cooper.  She died August 15, 1962 at the age of 81 Years, 1 month and 13 days.  On March 25,1903 she married James Samuel Dunstan.  Olive's father was born in Middlesex , England in the shadows of Buckingham and came to Pa to eventually marry Elizabeth and then went west.

I have also been feeling tons of movement.  I swear she will be a dancer!  It is constant and even more active at night.  Joel has been able to feel her a lot.  He has even developed a daddy-daughter morse code.  He taps on my belly and she responds with a few kicks.  It is really funny.  She is getting so big that every once and a while we can now feel parts of her pressed up against my skin.  The first time this happened it was very freaky!  Now I love it!  So cool to feel an arm or a leg moving around.  

Here are a few pics of my growing belly:

3 months- not much there yet.

about 4 months- starting to show! 
About 5 months, definitely a baby in there!

5 1/2 months, growing everyday!

So now we just wait!  I will try to update with a few bump pics in the coming months.  Keeps us in your thoughts and prayer that our move goes smoothly in a few weeks.  We will be back in CO before we know it!