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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some Cherry Blossom, a Baby Shower and the Bump

The Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week event that celebrates springtime in Washington, DC as well as the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival® annually commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrating the continued close relationship between our two cultures.

In a simple ceremony on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two trees from Japan on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. In 1915, the United States Government reciprocated with a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. A group of American school children reenacted the initial planting in 1927 and the first "festival” was held in 1935, sponsored by civic groups in the Nation’s Capital.

First Lady Lady Bird Johnson accepted 3,800 more trees in 1965. In 1981, the cycle of giving came full circle. Japanese horticulturists were given cuttings from our trees to replace some cherry trees in Japan which had been destroyed in a flood.

The Festival was expanded to two weeks in 1994 to accommodate a diverse activity schedule during the trees’ blooming. Today, more than a million people visit Washington, DC each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees and attend events that herald the beginning of spring in the Nation’s Capital.

The Festival looks forward to celebrating the centennial anniversary of the gift of trees in 2012 and is planning spectacular events to mark this historic and special occasion.

And the Cherry Blossom trees were absolutely stunning while driving around for work and in the parks of Washington DC. The only down side is the high pollen count around this time, to the point that the inside of my car was yellow with the pollen when I put my roof down in the sunshine. So I am sneezing my way around at the moment as I don't like to take allergy medicine anyway but particularly so now I am pregnant.

To join in the celebrations downtown we decided to head to The Waterfront for the day on the second Saturday of the festival. On this day they were having a family day of activities, music and then some fireworks in the evening. Vicky had warned us to go early as the crowds would be huge but I can't really get myself going well in the morning at the moment so we planned to meet Dawn, Simon, Mike and Catherine mid afternoon to head down for some afternoon sunshine and then to stay on for the fireworks in the evening. It was a lovely afternoon but Vicky was right and the crowds were incredible. Added to this the fact that they had not catered very well and we had difficulty getting anything to eat or drink we decided to pack up early and head back to Bethesda for drinks and dinner in the evening before the fireworks had started ( it's not like we had never seen fireworks before). Boy were we glad we took this decicison because we had to fight our way into the subway station against the masses of people that were turning up to see the fireworks and the stations on the way home were mobbed. It would have been pandemonium and dangerous later to try and get home amongst those mobs. As it was we managed to lose Mike and Catherine at one of the subway stations but just texted them that we would then meet them back at Bethesda so not really a problem as at least they were together. We finished the day having drinks outside at the Tiki bar in Bethesda with Dawn and Simon and hearing about there possible new plans to move to Dallas, Texas at the end of June. We will be sad to see them go but a great excuse to visit them in Texas - with perhaps a side visit down to San Antonio to see Sazzy Sarah!
I kept forgetting that I had my camera but here are the few photos I took at the beginning of our day out


A Baby Shower

Kim and Andrew were having their baby shower for Scooter ( as we all affectionately call their unborn son). They decided against the traditional, ladies only, baby shower and just hosted an afternoon party for male and female friends. It was a lovely sunny, Spring day so with the balcony doors on their condo open it was lovely eating and drinking while catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.
Kim had been on bed rest all week as she had low amniotic fluid levels. She had posted on facebook that she had a craving for donuts so Jar and I decided to stop off at Krispy Kreme on our way there and turned up with 2 dozen donuts to help satisfy her craving (and my own I must admit!).
Lots of good food, cake and company made it a lovely afternoon. My only disappointment was not experiencing a traditional baby shower so I could see what it entailed to decide whether I wanted one of my own. Although I belieive that Vicky is already plotting one for me with Jarlath!

Again here are the few photos I remembered to take:


Kim took some better photos and has posted them to Facebook but I can't work out how to share them on here but try this link, if not they should be on my facebook profile for those of you on there:


The Bump

Well not much to update you on the Bump. I am worried that I am not putting on much weight and not really showing but looking at people's comments, this seems quite common until the 6th or 7th month so will try not to fret too much - I know I will probably be moaning for the next few years about trying to lose all the baby weight that I did eventually put on!!

I am now at 18 weeks and I think I felt my first flutter of movement last week but nothing since. I am due the 20 week scan in a couple of weeks on Friday 30th April just hours before we fly to Chicago for the weekend. So, hopefully, all will be ok and we will get to see what sex it is! Any guesses as to what you think it will be?

The overwhelming nausea has gone apart from the odd moment and it is making life a lot happier for me. Still tired but I can cope with that as long as the sick feeling has gone. Still walking with the dogs every day and have been enjoying some really weird, warm Spring weather - it was in the high eighties Fahrenheit (low thirties celsius) for a few days, which was a bit too hot for walking but still quite enjoyable after a cold, hard winter.

Bobby is enjoying the nicer weather as well and has taken to lying outside under the grapevines again in the afternoons. Her is visibly getting old in the way he comes up and down stairs and has turned into quite a grumpy old man who is very vocal about his needs. I still get lots of cuddles whenever I sit or lie down and he is my constant shadow when I am in the house. Lets hope he has plenty more years left in him - he is twelve now.

Well that is all folks. Another update soon. Xx


  1. Glad the nausea has passed-now you can really enjoy this spceial time. Bump is looking good!

  2. Hi Hazel, delighted to hear that the nausea is easing. I will don my Mystic Meg wig now and predict a girl - only because I was so sick in the first trimester with Eva and not at all with Luke - not very scientific but ho hum... lovely to see le bump - take care. Txx

  3. Great as ever to hear a news update. Even with my second pregnancy I was never huge and at nearly 6 months in leggings and a T-shirt could get away with not looking pregnant so don't worry. Nothing wrong with a neat bump!

  4. I'm saying boy............and a side trip to SA would be fab!

  5. Well as all my dreams are about a girl despite not caring either way, I am predicting a girl myself. Xx

  6. Glad to hear you are not feeling to sick now. It just has to be a boy, don't think I can see you bringing up a "girly" girl...!
    People still didn't believe I was expecting even though I only had 6 weeks to go. enjoy every minute of it....
    Take care
    F xx