Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hello from Japan

Hello all!

Wow! It has been such a long time since I last updated the blog. There has been so much to happen since August that I don't even know where to begin. I guess chronologically is the best method to approach this.

First, I gave birth to Evalyn Jane Lester on September 5th, 2013. She was 7lbs 12.5 ounces and 21.5" long. My mom arrived to California a little over a week before I gave birth. We, of course, were hoping that it would have the perfect timing like Jaxon had so Nana could maximize her time with Eva. Even though Nana was there for the birth, she almost missed it! I had my last OB appt in the morning on September 5 where my doctor swept my membranes in hopes to induce me. On the way home from the appointment I started having contractions and they increased in intensity to the point where I went back to the hospital a few hours later in hopes to be having my baby. Once in triage, my contractions decreased in intensity and I was checked for dilation. I had made zero progress from my OB appointment in the morning so I was sent home even though I was having regular contractions. Instead of going home, we walked around Lowe's (Guess whose idea that would be? Not my husbands, right?). I got to the point of barely being able to stand or walk so we went back to the hospital where I had dilated to a 5! Hooray! Labor was finally happening. Eva was finally going to be here!! To make a long story short, I received my epidural, labor slowed down and I had an incompetent nurse. We sent my mom home to let our dogs out and then return to the hospital. We thought we'd have plenty of time for my mom to make the 20 minute drive home and back because the last time the nurse checked me I was dilated to 8cm, I believe. Well, while my mom was gone I was checked again and fully dilated! The nurse told me to give a practice push to see how well I would do and when to call the doctor. Turns out, I'm a pretty good pusher. She yelled at me to stop and she had to call the doctor immediately. Jake was trying to get a hold of my mom to tell her to hurry back to the hospital. After all was said and done, I'm trying to hold Eva in because my mom wasn't there. The doctor shows up, my mom walks in literally a minute later and two pushes later, Eva was born at 11:26 pm. I got to  hold my princess right away and noticed her long, skinny fingers like her Momma has and how well she held her little head up.

Beautiful Evalyn easily fit right into the family. Big brother, Jaxon, had a very hard time accepting the fact that he wasn't mommie's one and only anymore. He was quite mean to Eva and frequently hit her. Jake left for training when Eva was two weeks old, so I didn't have much time adjusting to two kids. It was very, very hard balancing the two. Eva was colicky and would get overtired very easy which led to an exhausted, screaming baby for hours on end. That led to a jealous, needy toddler who didn't understand why mommy had to spend so much time with this baby that just cried all the time and why Daddy wasn't home. Just typing that out gives me anxiety all over again.

But as they say, this too shall pass, which it did. We all got into a routine, Daddy came home, we had Grandma and Great Aunt MaDonna come visit and Evalyn was baptized. It certainly wasn't easy, but it was better. I forgot to mention with all this going on, we also got official word we were moving to Japan so we were trying to get everything ready last minute to get paperwork and health documents together for the military. Oh, and we were also selling our home. Wow! Talk about a lot on our plates!

We had our good friend, Eric, sell our house. Man is he a miracle worker! He was able to sell our house with only one showing and it wasn't even on the market yet! We were very blessed to receive a full-price offer on our house and we just count our lucky stars that that turned out to be a smooth process. If you happen to be in the San Diego/Inland Empire area, please use Eric Tomlinson as your realtor. He is truly the greatest!

I finished my last class of the semester in early December, oh ya, I was also still taking classes with all of the above mentioned. Then finally it was vacation time!
I flew with the kids by myself to our hometown to stay with our families for a month before our big move overseas. Jake (and Shawn) had a little more work left, such as packing up the house, before they drove back home with our dogs. Being home was such a jumble of emotions. I was so incredibly happy to see everyone and introduce Eva to her family, but at the same time I was devastated because I knew it was the last time I'd see them for three years. (And here come the water works just thinking about it) I can say without a doubt that we have the best families. Our immediate and extended family have been so supportive of us and we're so lucky to have so many people that love us and the kids. I'm so happy everyone got to meet Evalyn and that Jaxon got to spend much quality time with family as well. As most may know, Jaxon was in speech therapy in California. During our short month home, he exploded in his vocabulary and understanding. It was a night and day transformation. All he needed was to be around his family, apparently. I also think while we were home he realized that Evalyn was here to stay and he became so nice and gentle with her. That was another huge transformation I was impatiently waiting for. But, as you know, all good things must come to an end. So our days were ticking in Kansas City and the day to say "see ya later" arrived. Let's not discuss all those emotions because I've already cried enough just typing all this out.

We stayed in San Diego for a couple days before our international flight and got one last chance to say goodbye to the United States.

Now we're lllleeeeaaaavvviiinnngggg on a jet plane.

We flew from San Diego to LA (30 minutes), LA to Tokyo (13 hours) and Tokyo to Okinawa (3 hours). The military can be a very frustrating and dumb organization. Whoever booked our tickets had all 4 of us separated during every flight. Who puts a 4 month old baby by herself on an airplane? Anyway, we were able to rearrange some seats, but in the end it wasn't perfect. The flight to Tokyo was a rough one. Jake was with Jaxon in the very last row and I was with Eva three rows ahead of them. Jax had a really hard time getting comfortable so he slept for maybe an hour the entire flight. When he wasn't eating, he was whining. He would whine for whichever parent wasn't sitting by him. Jake and I switched off a few times throughout the flight. Poor Jaxon just isn't used to be constrained for such a long time, especially with how active he is. But we survived and then we all slept the entire 3 hour flight to Okinawa. Our best friends, the Schmidts, greeted us with their beautiful, smiling faces at 9pm in the airport. Believe me, I'm leaving out many, many details, and maybe I'll go into depth some other time but I'm one busy momma nowadays! 

So now we've been in Okinawa for over a month! (Wow that went by fast!) It took about a week and a half to fully adjust to the time change. We've learned to drive on the left hand side of the road and not turn our windshield wipers on when we mean to use our blinker. We have the most beautiful ocean view from our apartment. It's cramped, but it'll be doable. We have yet to still receive our furniture that the military packed for us. Hopefully we'll get it the second week of March. Jake leaves on his first DET since joining the new squadron on March 5. He'll be gone for about 6 weeks. There's many ways to define strength, one is: grocery shopping with a baby and a toddler who runs away, by yourself, in a foreign country.

One day I'll update with more details to the stories and pictures. I thought I'd let you all know that we've arrived. We're safe. We still don't know Japanese. And most of all, we miss our families more than they'll know! xoxox

Much love,
The Lester Family