Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hot Hot Hot

It is so stinkin hot and humid here! How did people survive without AC? I always thought Japan was more like Seattle in terms of climate. Boy was I wrong! It's like we never left DC. It rains buckets too. Mark's coworker invited us out to go swimming with them Sat morning. I though it would still be too cool to go swimming. Wrong again. At 11am, you want to be in the pool! Everything on base is family friendly. There's 3 pools of different depths, and one is just 4-6 inches deep! perfect for the kiddies. And they have tons of pool toys too. Just no inflatable things are allowed.

Life on base is slow I think. Things close early and on odd days. Don't bother getting anything done around 1100-1300, its lunch time. At the pool, the last 10 mins (and they are to the dot on this) of every hour the life guards take a break and everyone gets out of the pool. And Mon and Tues they're closed for cleaning. The commissary (grocery store) where we live is open 0900 -1900 everyday except Mon. The commissary at the other base where we get our mail is closed Wed. I'm defiantly not used to a grocery store closing at 7pm. Different offices closes at different hours... I can't keep it all straight in my head. And I'm not used to using 24 hour time either. So I say its slow cause things aren't open when I need them to be.

Our camcorder called it quits the other day. Sad, cause it wasn't that old and it fit our needs. Back in DC, Mark accidentally stepped on it, and we thought it was just a cosmetic thing. The LCD screen was just a little kinked and just needed a little extra push to get it closed. Well, turns out that the touch screen doesn't work anymore. We can still record on it, but there's no way to make it do anything else cause all the buttons are accessed from the screen... I guess Sony made that decision for the sake of clean design. argh. I hate when expensive investments die. Why does Mark have to have big feet?

About the kids...Careese, we can't get enough of her. I think God made babies and little kids cute in their parents eyes so they are hardwired to love and protect their young. And I think we were over wired for Careese. Something about having a little girl makes it different from having a boy too. Those of you with little girls know what we're talking about. Careese's new thing is discovery of her voice box. She screams at such high decibels I'm sure there are times when Lucy our dog is in pain. The funniest is Careese's new thing where she'll growl at us and at her food right before eating it. Lucy doesn't do it, so this is all Careese's. We tried but couldn't get a good video of her growling at her pieces of french toast in her little fists then shoving it in her mouth.

Evan is growing leaps and bounds vocabulary-wise. We signed him up for preschool at a local Japanese preschool, hoping he will learn Japanese. I think he's bored at home now. I don't have enough time and energy to really challenge his mind. And he actually asks to go to school. I'm a little worried that he'll fall behind in English once he goes to Japanese preschool. He'll learn to read and write in Japanese, so I'm going to have to keep him up with his English alphabet and reading at home. I don't want him to struggle when we move back to the states.
A funny thing he says is "Mommy, my tummy is empty, I need to put food in it so I can grow big, like daddy." He comprehends a lot more than we give him credit. A while ago, I gave him two empty plastic bottles to use as bowling pins. And the other day Mark and I had bought drinks and were drinking them in the car. Evan yells from his carseat, what I expected to be him asking for a sip too, "Oh yeay! You finish those drinks and I have 2 more bowling pins! And then I have 4 pins!" Holy cow, he's already doing math?! I was amazed that he understands action and consequence too.
I feel a little unprepared for raising a 3 yr old. Babies and toddler's needs are simple and it doesn't take much to challenge their little minds. But with Evan, I feel like I don't know enough about what goes on in his mind anymore. Stop growing up so fast, Evan!
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New House

new house

And we're back! Ok so I've been working on typing a post, but I haven't found the time to finish it. So here's pics to make up for it.
As for how we're doing? We're as settled in as fleas on a turtle's back. hahaha you like that? I just made that up myself. We're just dying waiting for our shipment to get here. I can't justify going out to buy things we need when its coming in our shipment. So we have to keep telling ourselves, and Evan, that our stuff is comeing just hang tight a little longer. I'm tired of only having 4 plates, 4 forks, 4 cups, 4 bowls. And Evan is tired of looking at his same books and toys. He's resorted to using his imagination... which isn't bad, but he's using an empty bottle and a tennis ball to "play" baseball. Poor kid.
I've talked to him about where his toys are. He actually got quiet and sad when I asked him where specific toys were. Almost like he was gonna cry. I pulled out a map that we got in the Westin Kids Club package and showed him where our old house was and where we are now and how all our things are on a ship (conveniantly there's a picture of a ship on the water too) and it has to sail all the way around the world to get here. He perked up right away. And now anytime he remembers something that we're missing he tells me about the ship that's coming really really slowly to bring it here. Wow, I didn't think he'd get it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Proud to be an American

fourth of july

Aside from celebrating Independence day in the nation's capital, its nothing compared to celebrating it with the troops. The usual American fare of hamburgers, hot dogs, country music, and lemonade on the Fourth seemed to take on new meaning when you're on a base with other Americans far from the States. You get a sense of community with the people around you. And you are around men and women who have dedicated their lives for the purpose of upholding the freedom we enjoy.

On base, they held a celebration of free food, games, music, and fireworks. The food was OK. But what can you expect for free? There was a inflated climbing wall, bouncy house, and bull riding. I asked Evan if he would like to get his face painted, and at first it was intrigued over the idea of putting paint on his face, but when it came time, he said to me, "I don't want paint on my face, that's yucky!" That's my fault cause earlier that day he was painting and I told him paint goes on the paper only.

The band playing was, well I don't want to say hillarious cause that would be rude, but it was like watching American Idol's auditions! It was a Japanese band playing American country songs. Their first song was Shania Twain's "I Feel Like a Woman". Imagine with me if you will, a Japanese gal with limited English singing "I feru ruike a wooman!" But I have to give it to her, she was having a great time and the band did play very well. :)

I asked Evan if he wanted to try the bouncy house. He saw the kids bouncing around and having fun, and he thought it be fun. I thought he'd really love it cause I'm always telling not to jump off the furniture at home. I told him it was OK to jump here, and you can jump all you want cause you can't at home. He kicked off his shoes, and got on the step to get in, when a bunch of kids rushed passed him. That's when Evan changed his mind. He wouldn't even stick his head in. I had him jump on the inflated step so he'd get a feel for it, and he loved it. But when I tried again to get him in the house, he wiggled right out. I kept trying, but he still wouldn't budge. He asked to go play in the sand instead. I guess its just the simple things that make him happy.

He played in the sand then in the playground till it was time to see the fireworks. I asked him one more time if he wants to try the bouncy house, but I neglected to notice that they had already deflated it and packed it up. Evan said "Yeah! I want to go to the bouncy house!" He looked around for it and it was no where to be found. He put his head down and cried and cried. Another little boy saw him and came by to pat his head and in Japanese tell him, its ok! Don't cry. It was so cute!

Evan does this all time. Mostly with food. He'll ask to eat/drink things that aren't there or we don't have. We were walking the dog and he suddenly asked to drink apple juice. Of course I don't carry apple juice with me on walks! When he does this, I know its time for a nap/bed.

Before the fireworks, there was this huge ominous clouds from the north throwing lighting every few seconds. I managed to take a few really awesome picture of it. I took us closer to our car just in case it suddenly rained.

I had parked our van at the top of the hill overlooking the football field where the fireworks were. I love our Odyssey. Its smaller than it's American counterpart, but still has the seats we need. The US version has the two captain seats in the second row and sliding doors. But ours is more car-like and has regular doors, and three seats in the second row and two seats in the third row. Plus, its previous owners had it lowered and put new mufflers on it that makes it hum. I think its funny that you'll hear the car before you see it, but aren't expecting to see an Odyssey!

The best thing about our van that night was how the third row can flip back and become seats facing out of the van. So, from the comfort of our van, we watched the fireworks. For the first five minutes, both Evan and Careese sat still watching the fireworks, leaning in on either side of me. It was a sweet moment of gratefulness for me. Grateful that we were celebrating the freedoms we have that allows me to be a mom of these two cute kids, to be able to afford being a stay at home mom, to have an education, to have the right to practice our religious beliefs, and raise my kids in that belief and especially in peace. Well, peace is relative. hahaha. But, I'm talking about the peace of knowing we have food, we have shelter, we have clothes, we don't have to fear for our lives. God bless America.

Well, half way through the show, it was about half hour long, Evan gets up and says, "Mommy, lets go home." Then climbs over the seat to his car seat to get buckled up. hahaha As soon as we got home, he was happy to go to bed. Wow, I haven't had one of these moments in a very long time. I hope I can look forward to less bedtime resistance this his 3rd year.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Golden Birthday Evan!


Its too bad Evan won't remember his Golden birthday. Not that golden birthdays are supposed to be super special or anything, just your age matching the date of your birthday. :)
Mark had to go to Singapore for work this week and so he missed Evan's birthday and Independence day. So, we're gonna celebrate bigger when Mark gets back. But I can't completely ignore it so we did some special things. Evan has recently taken to bowling. We took him once to the alley on base and he just LOVED it! As long as he knocked some pins down, he'd cheer "I did it! I did it!" If he didn't, he'd have the biggest sad face I've ever seen. So, I took him bowling for his birthday. I don't know why I paid for me to rent shoes, cause he pretty much played for me.
I decided to make Evan birthday jello, cause doesn't like to eat cake. The kid could eat candy all day long if I let him, but give him cake and he couldn't careless. Evan loves jello cause he also knows how to make it. And he's also become a big fan of popsicles. So I showed him how to make them in an ice cube tray with small pastic spoons. And he couldn't be happier to find out that we can make popsicals now!
I got him a blues clues coloring book that comes with watercolor paints, a thomas the train sticker/coloring book, and a mickeymouse clubhouse 24 piece puzzle. Can you tell I let him pick out his gifts? Its all his fav characters at the moment.
He was so excited when we got the mail to see a package from my family with his name on it. He got this really cool Thomas train that you pump up with air then push a button and it launches off across the room. Our new house has a hallway that runs the length of our house and its all hardwood floors, so it was SO fun to watch Evan chase after Thomas. My family also sent him a motorize toy boat he can play with in the tub. As soon as he opened it, he asked me to give him a bath! He never asks for a bath! The package also had candy and a connect the dot puzzle book. He chowed down on the chocolate as soon as he could open it, and he will pull out that book and do the puzzles on his own.
I guess that's what I have to look forward to now that he's three. He's got his own agenda now, and he's sure about what he wants, and will just do it on his own. Hopefully that means he'll be potty trained soon! His new independence is good and bad. I've caught him in the kitchen trying to cut an apple for himself using a steak knife. He'll take it upon himself to feed Careese her snacks when I don't even ask him to. And he'll even tell me, "Mama, you change Careese's diaper. She's stinky!" hehehe I'm taking orders from a three yr old.
Happy Birthday, Evan! You've grown so much, I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us!