Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Lovely "Martha Stewart" bluegreen colored paper. Actually, these papers come from a bottle of gum sold in Japan. hehehe The gum makers include a pad of papers in each bottle for when you want to dispose of your gum. Omoshiroi. Interesting. Mark never uses the paper to throw out his gum, so we've got these little tiny pads of paper floating around the house.
Poor Evan looks wasted. He actually wasn't feeling well when I asked him to pick a name from the bowl. He's a trooper.
Congratulations, Kaneyuki's! Its your lucky day! I'm sending a package of Japanese candies and snacks your way.
Thank you to all of you out there for keeping up with my little personal challenge and commenting or just lurking. Its been fun reading every one's comments!
I think the most interesting part of my daily bloggings has been finding out who's reading my ramblings. I guess in my mind I still think that its just some friends and family reading, but it really is bigger than that. I'm in touch with lots of old and new friends and friends I've never met in real life.
Its a nice reminder that the Internet isn't just a virtual space of zeros and ones, but that there's real people on the other side who, like me, appreciate being heard. So thanks for reading. Thanks for making me feel like I matter. :)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Just thought I'd share one of our newer Christmas traditions that I found out more about online today. This was introduced to us by our friends Julie and Dave back when we were both young newlywed couples and would spend a lot of time playing, eating, FHEing together. They were like family.
I noticed that they had a pickle ornament in their Christmas tree. I had seen it in Target too, and wondered why on earth would you love pickles enough to put it in your tree. Julie explained that it was an old tradition in Germany, where it was the last ornament hung, hidden in the branches. On Christmas morning, the first child that finds it gets an extra gift and blessings for the new year.
I thought it was a cute idea to add more fun to Christmas morning, so I bought one at a Target after Christmas sale. And maybe this year we can introduce the game to Evan, even though Careese isn't going to be much competition. :)
Today, I did a little google search to find out more about this said German tradition. As it turns out it isn't German at all. Germans don't have any idea what this pickle ornament is about. hmm interesting. Its completely American. And Wikipedia says that it's a popular American tradition. It is?! How did this tradition slip past me all those years?
Well, anyway, what traditions do you have in your family during this holiday season?
Monday, December 08, 2008
I love this dress I picked up for Careese at the Silk Market in Beijing. SO CUTE!!! She looks like a doll! I'm glad I didn't let that vendor trick me out of this one for another not so cute dress during the haggling fest. I got matching shoes out of the deal too, but those don't quiet fit Careese yet.
Careese's way of saying "Cheese!"
Careese and Da Da
Careese and great-grandma
|Daddy Daughter Weekend in Taipei|
What did I do today? While Mark and Careese were flying back and Evan was at school, I was actually at a loss of what to do with myself. I didn't know what to do with SO much freedom. Too many options! If I knew about this sooner, I could have signed up for a massage session at the gym on base! Its ok, I did something just as therapeutic... shopping! Not just any shopping. Fabric shopping. I'm picking up some fabric for a friend that loves cute Japanese prints on fabric. I do too, so it was a treat for me to shop for her. Here's one I picked up for her, that I think I may have to go back and get some for myself!
I also did some online Christmas shopping, wrapped a few more presents, tidy the house, did some laundry and some dishes, took a nice loooong shower (alone!), and baked bread. Yeah, I'm amazed myself at my list of stuff I got done, including shopping (walked to the store too), all before 2pm. woo hoo!
In retrospect a day later: I just read over this post again, and looked at my list of things I accomplished before 2pm yesterday... and in retrospect, it's not that great of a list! ahahaha Its what mom's do on a daily basis with little thought on receiving thanks or making complaints. its the non glamorous side of mommyhood. I'm asked my mom, how she managed to cook pretty much everyday for the last 20+ years?! I was just a newlywed a the time and couldn't fathom doing that chore for 20+ years! She said you just do it because you have to, your family needs to eat, and you learn to love it. I'm coming up on 6yrs of marriage, and I really understand it now. It applies to all matters of work in general. No matter what work you do, you learn to love and appreciate it. I want to teach my children that, to like to work. To understand work is an integral part of attaining happiness on earth. Whether its doing the dishes or yard work or homework or your 9-5 job.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Careese was so cute! She immediately perked up and smiled and waved at us when she saw us through the window. I can't get enough of her smiles. She makes us melt. Evan laughed and made faces at her and she laughed. They are so funny together. I'm just in awe over how they have their own special bond to each other. I hope they grow up to be sweet to each other.
Evan understands that when people get on that bus they go to the airport and they are gone for a while. I think Evan didn't completely realize that Careese was leaving with daddy, even though we told him she was going.
As the bus was pulling away, Evan said, "that's my sister!" over and over. And he was actually a little teary eyed after the bus was out of view. Awww so cute! I talked to him on the way home that they would be home soon, and about the things we could do while they were gone, and he perked up.
I didn't think Evan would really miss Careese. At bedtime, he talked to me about the silly, funny things Careese does and he laughed. I've noticed more emotion from Evan lately. He actually gets his feelings hurt now. Like the other day, Mark and I were upset that he helped himself to chocolate dipped cookies without asking first, and we reminded him that it wasn't nice to take without asking first. Then I noticed that he was quiet, and had tears welling up in his eyes, and then a sniffle, and then quivering lip, and he was genuinely sad that he made a mistake. Usually things like this don't bother him, he'll say sorry and go on eating his cookie like nothing happened. So it's interesting to see this new side of him that's developing.
I talked to Mark, and he said Careese has been good. She's was overtired by the time the delayed flight allowed them to board, and she cried a bit on the plane. But Mark said a lot of the people on board were helpful. Thats good. I think it would have annoyed me after a while of people saying, "maybe she's hungry?" or "is she tired?" Mark's got more patience than me in that respect.
So, it sounds like Careese is doing well under Mark's complete supervision. I feel a little better that the flight went well. Its hard, as a mom, to let go of worrying about your kids. Not that I don't trust Mark, I'd still worry even if it were SuperNanny.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Speaking of clips, Careese has decided she will not wear them anymore. She will take them out as soon as I'm not looking. Isn't that ironic?! I made a little business of selling clips because of her, and now she won't wear them. Yep. The other day she was wearing her Christmas clips, and next thing I knew they were gone. I had no idea where they went, but I'm not worried because I know they will show up somewhere in the house. Later that evening, Mark told me he found her clips. Where were they? He was changing her diaper and found them in the diaper!! Ouch! Don't worry it wasn't a poopy diaper, but I still made sure to wash them off.
Speaking of Careese, she's surprisingly been really good around the christmas tree! I put only the plastic ornaments on the bottom of the tree just in case, but Careese has actually stayed away from them. Mark said she took one down when he was watching her, and she shook her head and said "ooooooooo" and tried to put it back. hahaha She's learning so much so fast. She's already able to follow very simple commands like, "come here for a diaper change" and she will lay down the mat. I can ask her to hand me things I point to, and she'll do it. And she's learned more sign language. She came up with her own way to sign "tired/sleepy" by taking her right hand and rubbing her cheek and eye. She can sign the command to make Lucy bark. Lucy doesn't follow the command, but its cute to see Careese try.
I forget how much little 1 yr olds can understand and know how to do. I'm so happy to have little Careese in our home to remind me.
Why am I writing so much about Careese today? Well, because Mark made the last minute decision to go to Taiwan this weekend to attend a family friend's wedding. In a passing comment we said, why don't you take one of the kids with you. The more we thought about it, the more it sounded like a good idea for Careese to go with Mark to Taiwan. Mark's grandma hasn't met Careese yet, it would give me a break for the weekend, and it would give Mark time with Careese and me with Evan.
I'm looking forward to time with Evan, but I'm really going to miss Careese. I'm the one that puts her to bed everynight. I'm going to miss that. I don't think I've ever been without her for more than a few hours. But I think it will be good for Mark to spend time with her. I hope it goes well!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
We had a parent teacher conference with Evan's teacher today too. We found out that Evan's sensei had no idea that Evan was picking up any Japanese, because it turns out that he doesn't say much in school. If she speaks English to him, he'll go off speaking English back to her. But she doesn't understand much English, let alone a 3 yr old Evan's version of English. Seems like he gets into disagreements with the other kids, because he doesn't understand what they're saying. They actually try to help him putting on his coat or backpack, but he doesn't understand and gets upset at them. So, I'm going to have to help him understand what's going on in school until he learns more Japanese. But I'm glad to hear that he's got lots of friends in school that like to play with him and help him out!
I got our Christmas tree up finally. I usually get it up the day after Thanksgiving. I think I wasn't as motivated because we could only ship part of all the Christmas stuff we had to Japan. Long story short, we had to cut our shipment limit from half our stuff, to half of that. We had to make last minute decisions on what we absolutely had to bring with us to Japan. And our Christmas stuff took a hit. So we have a tree at least and some decorations for the tree and our stockings and a couple wreaths. And that's pretty much it. Since it was such a rush decision I didn't remember what we did and didn't bring with us and I'm finding out now, and it makes me a little sad that some of our fav and special ornaments got stored. Well, its the spirit behind Christmas that counts, right?
I'm beat. Putting the tree up myself and trying to keep the kids from tearing it down at the same time wore me out.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I was so happy it turned out great and it challenged everyone at different skill levels.
The only problem is, I don't really learn much Japanese. I guess I have gotten better at my listening skills, but as far as speaking I'm not even close to how much English they know. I'm taking classes on base once a week and its helped refresh my memory of the 3 yrs of high school Japanese I took. But without daily classes, I've got little chance of learning Japanese any time soon.
Good thing Evan's in Japanese kindergarten and he will be able to translate for me!
BTW, I've tried using Rosetta Stone to learn Japanese, and I highly recommend it for learning any language. It teaches you to recognize the writing/pronunciation/speaking without making you associate it with the English meaning. It basically throws you into the language and lets you to learn from your mistakes. Its pricey though, but if you ever get the chance to use it, its worth it.
Monday, December 01, 2008
A few people have asked me how I manage to squeeze in time to blog everyday. I've come up with my own strategy to keeping myself on task when I'm online. Cause trust me if I didn't have anything else to do, I'd be shopping online and reading blogs and watching my slingbox all day long! My laptop, when it is fully charged, only gives me about 2 hours of battery life. Pretty sad. Mark's mini EEE PC, gives him 8 hours, very nice but not useful in my strategy. When I want to be really productive online, I unplug my "lappy" and take it to another room far enough away from my charger that I'd be too lazy to go get it. :) This way I am forced to use the 2 hours to get everything I need to do before the battery runs out of juice!
Being that December is upon us, I've listed some new Holiday hairclips on my etsy site. Can't say Christmas hairclips, because that wouldn't be PC. hehehe jk. The double H just sounds better to me. Anyway, I've got a couple listed as U Pick type listings where you get to pick the styles you want in your set. Perfect for a gift that's customized just for that special little girl. And I will package all my clips ready for gift giving! All you have to do is specify which ones you would like in the notes section as you check out.
I love these clips cause they're simple enough for everyday wear, but they still can dress up an outfit too. I also have a new bow type clip that I made while I was experimenting with how to hide an alligator clip inside the bow so it would keep a low profile and not get too bulky and heavy by using less ribbon. I think I got it! It's made from beautiful satin ribbon from the Martha Stewart craft line. So I love how it looks and feels. Tre chic!
On the home front, Mark got home this evening from a looooong flight from Sydney. Yeay! That means its present time! Mark likes to buy food and candy when he's out of town, and I like that it doesn't add clutter to the house. Evan actually expects Mark to bring stuff home now, so on occasion he's said , "What's my surprise, Daddy?!" Today was different. He knew his daddy was coming home, so while I was organizing his room, he found some of his toys and things that looked like boxes. He then went through his toy chest to find little things that he liked, like his toy money, a plastic mardi gras necklace, his train, and a few other trinkets. Then he carefully packaged them in each of the four "boxes". He told me that they were presents for Daddy. How sweet! When Mark came home, he was so excited to give them to Mark and watch him open them too. After Mark opened them all, Evan and Careese proceeded to play with it and there was stuff all over the floor. After I while I asked Evan if he could clean it up and bring the stuff back to his room. Evan said, "No! Its not mine, its daddy's stuff!" Great, how am I going to get Mark to clean that mess up?!
Mark did come home with Tim Tams and other treats too. But he had another little surprise for me. I don't think I ever told him I wanted something opal, I know I wanted one because its Careese's birthstone, and Mark got me an opal pendent! I forgot Australia is known for opal. Mark said he's just that good at reading my mind. OK.