We currently live in Misawa, Japan courtesy of the Air Force. Jordan is an F-16 pilot and Jenifer is an RN. We don't speak Japanese. We have been happily married for 4 years and currently have a little son who made his appearance in the world Sept 18, 2008. For those who can't get enough photos of him on this website, please check out http://photobucket.com/benton. We hope to share our adventures with our family and friends as we navigate through our careers and upcoming trials of parenthood.
Merry Christmas to Everyone! I forgot how fun Christmas could be until we had Ben. It's wonderful to see all the toys under the Christmas tree. Ben made out like a bandit - it's easy to dote on such a handsome little man. His big toy was a jumperoo. He is still maybe a little too small for it, but he seems to enjoy when we bounce it for him. We have a couple of large textbooks under his feet so he can reach and get some leverage - we are still working on a solo bounce.
I have been trying all season to get a picture of Ben with Santa Claus and was finally successful on Christmas Eve. I didn't realize Santa hangs out at the Food Court.
Not only were we visited by Santa for the holiday season, Grandma and Grandpa Kittok also paid us a visit. We really enjoyed the company and appreciate everyone making the long trip to meet our little guy. Ben has now officially met all the grandparents and he loves them all!
So, first of all a belated Happy Thanksgiving! We have been busy these last couple of weeks. I recently returned to work and we had a visit from Grandma Carvell. Ben is enjoying daycare - the ladies that take care of him are really great with him. He has a lot of interaction with the other babies (like playing footsy on the floor together) and he has more toys than he knows what to do with. He is already becoming more aware of things around him and batting at objects over his head. Now, he only does this at daycare. We have a play gym for him at home which he can stand for about two minutes before he cries to be picked up. Somehow, Mommy still remains his number one source of entertainment. The daycare is located right across the street from the hospital where I work which enables me to walk over during lunch everyday to feed or check on him. It helps break up the day and it reconfirms the fact that his being in daycare at all is not a failure on my part. He loves it!
He also loves his Grandma! Ben had a week off from daycare and got to spend it all with Daddy and Grandma. I don't think this baby could be any more loved. Thanks for coming, Meg!
Our lives are pretty much rotating around our small child - but, we are still able to go out and experience the local culture. A couple of weekends ago, Jordan, Ben, and I went to Rokkasho for the annual salmon festival. The village of Rokkasho, a small community of about 12,000 residents, boasts two big attractions: a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant and the annual Salmon Festival along the Pacific Ocean. The festival was originally started about 25 years ago to promote tourism in the area and is now the longest running salmon festival in Aomori prefecture.
The main event is, of course, a salmon catch. We didn't get there early enough to get a ticket to participate, but we watched along the sidelines. Participants lined up around a large pool stocked with salmon and were given 3 minutes to catch one by hand. You get to keep what you catch. It's actually pretty funny watching people run around chasing salmon - it was pretty cold outside (as I'm sure the water was) and the salmon are pretty slippery. If you were one of the first 6 people to catch a salmon, you proceed to another pool to race your salmon against the others for some kind of prize.
(No, we don't know any of these people...)
After watching the festivities, we sat took a rest by the water.
Last weekend, the three of us went down the street to Rokunohe to pick some apples. Aomori is known for its apples. The day started with a tractor ride around the orchard, which put Ben right to sleep. Apparently, Ben likes tractors. We figure the next time Ben is fussy, we can just go off-roading in the CRV and the bumps will rock him right to sleep.
The apples are as big as Ben's head. (I tried many times to turn this picture, but for some reason this website wants to keep turning it on its side...sorry). We are giants amongst the Japanese people...but, that just allows us to get the biggest apples.
The weather here is turning pretty cold now...so, who knows where we will go next. Maybe Ben likes to ski??
Ben had his first photo shoot a couple of weeks ago (again, courtesy of Sarah). These photos were taken when he was two weeks old. There were so many great shots, but here are just a few. I personally think he is the cutest baby ever, but I may be biased!
I think I love his feet the most (he has his daddy's feet - not as cute when they get bigger:-)
Yes, he does have eyebrows!!
He doesn't like being naked, so I had to help comfort him by letting him suck on my thumb. He is so tiny!!
Already sticking his tongue out, sassing his mom.
Calm baby :-)
I wish I could post them all!! We are hoping to do a family photo (with Chasey, of course) before Jordan leaves. He is growing so fast, I want to make sure we don't miss any of it!!
Well, it's been 3 weeks now since Ben has been born. Ever since we took him home we have been sleeping with him in our room - either in a bassinett by my bedside or in the bed with us (yes, I know that all the baby books advocate against it - but, he is so small and cute). I have been adequately scared by all the SIDS literature out there that I am convinced that our small son will suddenly stop breathing in his sleep. I am also still trying to decipher all of the farm animal noises he makes in his sleep to try and determine if he is tangled in his swaddler or if he has magically turned into a goat. Right now it is 10 pm and I have been staring at our video monitor for the past 2 1/2 hours because I have finally set my son down to sleep in his crib. He is quite the active sleeper, so it is almost like watching television. I feel like a neglectful mother for leaving my child alone in his room and he is so small in his big crib - but, I know that this is just the first step down a long road of gradually granting my child small freedoms. However, I totally miss him right now and I am hoping he will wake up soon so that we can cuddle and feed. More signs that Ben is growing - his belly button finally fell off!! So, Jordan and I gave him his first real bath. I think he liked the warm water, he still just hates being naked. Jordan will post the video on the photobucket link soon - so, watch for it.
Also, Ben finally took his first bottle...Jordan is happily giving middle of the night feedings now :-)
Well, it's me again, Jenifer's priorities in order are feed the baby, clean the baby, sleep the baby, repeat, take naps. So I think she's a superwoman on how little sleep she is actually running on. Anyway, I'd told here I throw another post on here so what else would I put on here other than more pictures of Ben. He was a little jaundiced so he got a few reps on the Bili blanket (the glowing picture) The other two pictures are a random one of Ben and actually one of my baby pictures. I may be biased but I think he's a spittin' image. You could also probably argue that they both look like, well...babies.
Jenifer's the one that started this webpage but I'll be the first to post since she is asleep right now and want to get out a few pics of our new son. Turns out that the baby was upside down (his feet were on the bottom) so we go in on wednesday for a "Version" (the medical term for an in-utero backflip) and it was unsuccessful. It also turns out that during the version, the placenta was partially separated which then caused her water to break about 24 hours later about 1845 on Thursday the 18th with a slightly scary detail. After rushing to the hospital, and an immediate C-section (baby was still upside down) Benton ("Ben") Michael Carvell joined us at 2022, he was 6 lbs 9 oz, 19 inches long and just about 2 weeks early. Both baby and mom are doing well. This all happened about 14 minutes after she posted the previous blog.
Jenifer is now 36 weeks pregnant and counting down the days until delivery. The thought that pregnancy lasts 9 months is a fallacy...it's actually 10 months (or 40 weeks). Maybe that is what they tell you so that people will continue to procreate. It's the $9.99 theory...if an item were priced $10 that would be too much, but make it $9.99 and you haven't quite reached that double digit.
Anyway, this has been a fairly easy pregnancy; no morning sickness, no complications, no overwhelming discomfort. This baby has had it easy. So easy, in fact, that he hasn't felt the need to turn head down and prepare for his journey into the light. He got comfortable laying on his back with his head buried in Jenifer's right flank and his little feet and knees kicking up into her rib cage. (I said no "overwhelming" discomfort; I never said it was discomfort free). But, he's healthy and active and for this we are thankful. To correct his positioning, we are scheduled for an external cephalic version next Wednesday. This is a procedure that consists of two doctors pulling and tugging on the belly to try to manually turn the baby upside down. If the procedure does not work, then the baby will have to be delivered via C-section (not a first choice of ours). So, wish us luck and here's hoping the baby will perform his first somersault.
One final note: some friends of ours are very talented with the camera and they agreed to take some pictures of the Belly. They all turned out wonderfully, below are just a few: