Sep 27, 2008

Ode to Gabey aka Angel Baby aka Senor Diablo

Before Max was even born, I was keeping a journal for him. I talked about my pregnancy, how I was feeling, and things that were happening in the world. (9/11 was three months before he was born.)

Maxwell's baby/scrapbook is filled to overflowing, and it's still not even complete.

With Sammy, I did alright. I started a journal for him and started his baby book. But somewhere along the way, we switched to a digital camera and 90% of our pictures remain unprinted and un "scraped".

Now, Gabe...Gabe HAS a baby book...
...and one or two pages are filled in...

AND he's got...this post!
This post is an Ode to my Baby...

My Gabey-Baby.
He's really really cute!
And he's growing up before my eyes. So I thought I'd better document a little of his littleness before it's gone.
First it should be noted that Gabe has been my best baby so far in terms of crying/sleeping/eating/birthing. I was induced early and he was the first kid to come out willingly with NO cord wrapped tightly around his neck. Best post-birth recovery too.
Gabers just has a good dispostion. Maybe it's having two big brothers, but he's a pretty easy to please kid. (Except that lately he HAS been showing a bit of a 'tude. I choose to believe it's just a REALLY short phase he's going through and NOT the start of the "terrible two's" early.)

He was a little late to walk, (14 months) but he figured it out eventually.
He's talking a little. He says "Mama, Dada, Yeah!, Ta Dah!, Ah Duh (all done), EAS! (please), MA (more) and the sign for Milk which means he wants a drink. (He can also do the "more" and "all done" signs.)
At the moment, I'M his favorite parent. But I'm sure he'll soon be a Daddy's Boy just like the other little traitors.
He loves to eat and can feed himself with a spoon. (Though it's a bit messy.)
He's a proficient climber and mischief maker.
He thinks he can dance (just like his Mama).
He's super drooly just like Max was.
He's my first boy to have even a HINT of curl in his hair. (which is why I'll NEVER cut it no matter how mullet-ish it becomes...)
And his brother Max can make him belly laugh harder than anyone.
You're the best Babers! We're sure glad we have you in our family!!!
***Thanks to WENDY, (of Blue Lily Photography) FABULOUS PHOTOGRAPHER JEN, (of JenLee Photography) DOUG, (Dentist by day, Photographer by night) and MADISON, (of Mark's Loins) for providing some of the photo's for this post!!!***

Sep 23, 2008


I'm NOT organized!  I'm a MESS!

My house clutter is threatening to swallow me up!

I'm retreating to the pantry (with a novel and the Halloween candy) to hide...


(Any HGTV team will do...)

Sep 22, 2008

Dear Chrissy,

Sometimes I think you disparage me on your blog just so I'll post a retort.  

Well, you asked for it!  


I believe your exact words were, "Let's also give credit to Emily who has really good 'organizational intentions' but..."
Yes, those were your exact words.  (I copied and pasted.)

What exactly do you mean organizational intentions!?!?!?!?!  Does THIS look like I simply intended to have an organized closet?!?!?
Sure, the rest of my room looks like this...
but just look at my shoes!!!  (And YES!  My clothes ARE in rainbow order!!!)

Yeah, maybe the the Living Room looks like this... 
but just LOOK at my pantry!!!
"Organizational intentions"...HAH!!!!!!!!!!

My hangers are all BLACK!  My Ikea dishes are in RAINBOW ORDER!  My Tupperware are LABELLED!  What more could I POSSIBLY WANT?!?!  
(Besides clutter free surfaces and walking space on the floor...???)

That'll teach YOU to doubt my mad skillz!

Now where's the mouse so I can publish this stupid post...?

(Yes, I know Max.  We don't say 'stupid'.)

Sep 20, 2008

A Great Weekend

***This post contains an excessive number of asterisks and Mormon references.***

Saturday was a great day.   

I woke up early AND in a good mood.  I had big plans.  I wanted to spend a few hours at the Arts and Crafts building throwing pots.  It was a cool, overcast, breezy morning and I decided to ride my (recently arrived) bike.   While Doug and boys were making waffles, I grabbed my backpack full of ceramic tools, strapped on my helmet and started peddling through the morning mist the 1/4 mile to Ceramics.  It was so absolutely lovely, I didn't even mind that I had to turn around and peddle right home because the building didn't open for another 2 hours.

Once home, I picked the chocolate chips out of a chocolate chip waffle and planned my next move.  I decided to work on some furniture that needed painting.  I got out all 
the stuff and got started only to discover the red paint was missing...lost somewhere in the mess that is our half-unpacked house.  

No worries.  I hopped back on my bike and peddled the two blocks to the BX*, bought another can of spray paint, and peddled home.  (Feeling more athletic by the second.)

It was so cool and breezy and nice that I didn't even mind that it started raining lightly ruining my paint job and chances of future paint success for the day.

Lucky for me, I got a phone call from the Branch President**.  'Would I like to escort Sister Evans*** on a shopping trip for a few 
hours this afternoon?'  Of COURSE I would!   I had met Elder and Sister Evans the night before at a special Relief Society**** retreat (where I ALSO learned how to give an awesome scalp massage!) 

At the end of the meeting, Elder Evans answered my very own personal question even addressing me by name...(Pearls)...but I'm not even going to tell you about it...(Swine).

I was so excited to spend a little more time with Sister Evans, I wasn't even worried that I'm directionally inept and totally incompetent to be ANY ONE'S tour guide.  (Okay, so I was a LITTLE worried.)  I made some phone calls and found another sister in the branch***** to go with us and we were set.

The afternoon was fabulous!  We shopped on base for a few American staples and then off base for Kokeshi****** dolls. 
 It was so fun that I wasn't even worried when we couldn't find the doll she wanted.  
(Okay, so I was a LITTLE worried, but she promised to try to come again so she'll have another chance to find one.)

When I got home, my fabulous husband had delicious homemade BBQ chicken pizza ready for dinner.  

It was so great that I wasn't even upset when I got the message from the base lab telling me that my test results came back positive for Strep Throat.  (I'm hoping and PRAYING I didn't share this fun little illness with Sister Evans OR Sister Haltli.)

In the cool inky darkness of the evening, I hopped back on my bike and peddled the half block to the hospital to pick up my antibiotic. They had it ready for me so I didn't even half to wait.  

As I peddled home, I felt light and energetic and happy.  

And I've been happy ever since!

Thank you for the great weekend Elder and Sister Evans!!!

*Base Exchange:  Sort of like a small in-door mall.  Has a book store, food court, some local vendors, and a K-mart like store with a little of everything.  I say K-mart because it's not even as close to as cool as a Target.

**Branch President:  Leader of the congregation.  The same as a Bishop.

***Sister Evans is the wife of Elder David Evans of the Quorum of the Seventy.  (Important church leader.)  Visiting for the weekend from Tokyo.

****Relief Society:  Female Church members ages 18 and older belong to the Relief Society. The Relief Society was founded by the Prophet Joseph Smith on March 17, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois. In the days of its founding, it had two main purposes: to provide relief for the poor and needy and to bring people to Christ. The organization continues today, staying true to those original guiding principles as women in the Relief Society meet together on Sunday and in other settings as needed. 

*****Branch:  Similar to a Parrish

******Kokeshi Doll:  Japanese dolls, originally from northern Japan. They are handmade from wood, have a simple trunk and an enlarged head with a few thin, painted lines to define the face. The body has a floral design painted in red, black, and sometimes yellow, and covered with a layer of wax. One characteristic of Kokeshi dolls is their lack of arms or legs. The bottom is marked with the signature of the artist.

Sep 16, 2008

The Joys of Moving to Japan

Unpacking Tally thus far...

Broken:  1 polka-dotted Ikea juice glass
Lost:  1 black Ikea bed knob for our queen size bed frame  
(Why it was even removed is a mystery)
Included:   5 practically empty bags of tortilla chips, 1 empty cereal box, an enormous amount of dust, 1 box of Cream of Wheat dispersed over an entire box of kitchen wares, and a lot of "stuff" (read: crap) that we should have left in storage.  (At least I managed to get the laundry done so I didn't have to unpack dirty clothes!)

All things considered, it was a successful move.  (Aside from the "3 weeks late" thing.)

...But if that bed knob doesn't turn up, I'm going to have an obsessive-compulsive fit the likes of which this country has never seen!!!

Sep 14, 2008

I just wanted to rinse off his grubby little feet...
He wanted a bath.

And what Gabey wants, Gabey gets!

P.S.  Don't you just love the edgy, vibrant color scheme in my new kitchen?  There is actually a slight tinge of mauve hue in the counter tops!  Beat that!

P.P.S.  I took this picture on Thursday.  BEFORE our stuff came.  My kitchen is no longer even remotely this clean.  The counter is no longer even visible.

Sep 12, 2008

Surprise Visit!!!

The GOOD news is, 


The BAD news is...
                                    we got our stuff....  ...and there were SIX more crates after these five...
and Doug tends to get a little cranky when the house is a mess...

but eating Peanut Butter and Nutella for lunch made everything a TINY bit better...

Sep 9, 2008

Nienie, Wendy, and Infamy

In case you managed to miss it, (impossible) a blogger named Stephanie got in a horrible plane crash.  

About two weeks before that tragedy, I declared her my nemesis.  (Very VERY poor timing on my part.  I apologized and recanted.)

About a month or so before that my cousin Wonderful Wendy (aka Rama), did a photo shoot of Stephanie and her family and got to know them a little.  

Which is why Wendy is now famous and featured on THE FREAKIN' TODAY SHOW.  

(While I am infamous.)  

(But I did try to redeem myself by holding an auction.  So I'm not all bad.)  

Now watch this clip to see my AWESOME FAMOUS COUSIN in action.

And then go donate some money to The Nielsons.
And if you want, send me a copy of the receipt and I'll send YOU a Japanese treat!

Because it turns out Stephanie WAS just as good and crafty and kind and patient and loving and in love as her blog led us to believe.  

And THAT is something worth supporting.


Sep 8, 2008

Just a Few Things...

  • Every day at 4:30 they play the National Anthem over loud speakers all over the base.  If you can hear it, you stand still with your hand on your heart.  Even the kids know to do it.
  • Every single time I need to drive somewhere, I walk to the passenger side of the car to get in.  Every.Single.Time.
  • Yes, I do occasionally forget and drive on the wrong side and I have been honked at.  (And laughed at.)
  • I really really really really miss Target.  And Costco.  And huge grocery stores with lots of selection.
  • I didn't know I had a retail addiction until I got here and didn't have Target anymore.  The lack of Target COULD be the reason for my continual eye twitch.  (I tried bananas.  No help.)
  • Max is NOT going to Japanese school.  He's going to school on base and they learn SPANISH as part of the curricuulum.  (Though they will learn about their "host nation" as well.)
  • The base schools are taught by teachers who work for the Department of Defense.  Max's teacher just happens to be Japanese and very cute.
  • He loves her.
  • Doug wants to put Sam in Japanese preschool.  I'm undecided.
  • Living on base is like going back in time 20 years.  Kids play outside with their friends (unsupervised) and people leave their doors unlocked.  (Don't get any ideas, Bad Guys.  You can't get on base, and even if you could, everyone here knows Karate.  Including my 16 month old.)
  • I'm taking a Pottery Wheel (throwing) class.  YIPEE!!!
  • I'm not currently pregnant, but plan to have a girl sometime in the future.
  • I honestly don't know if it's "on base", "on-base","on-Base", "On Base" or "On-Base".  (Anyone?)
  • We STILL don't have our stuff and it'll be at least another TWO WEEKS!!!  
  • I've been wearing the same 10 t-shirts for the past 2.5 months.
  • I'm procrastinating cooking dinner (in my minimally equipped kitchen) by writing this post.
  • I'm hungry.

Sep 6, 2008

Just Another Day in Japan

Friday's schedule:

6:15 Doug was already “In Formation” for a 2 mile “Readiness Run” with half the base.
7:12 I drag my sorry bottom out of bed 22 minutes after the alarm goes off.
7:30 Doug takes Sam off-Base to a friend who will later take him to preschool.
7:45 I feed Babers breakfast, check Max’s homework, and pack a diaper bag and some snacks. Then head upstairs to see what can be done with my hair. (Not much!)
8:00 Doug arrives and runs in to see what he can do to get us all out. We’re now officially late. Max gets ditched with the neighbor who will walk him to school. I rush out in a disorganized frenzy hoping I haven’t forgotten anything crucial like a binky.
8:30 Doug, Gabers and I all boarded a bus for the compulsory Hachinohe Tour.

Our first stop was a large FISH MARKET: A Fish Market with LOT’S of SAMPLES. (The breakfast of champions!) We were asked to be polite and be daring!First offering: Dehydrated Squid. My first and last sample. I can be daring with the best of ‘em, but I draw the line at what was offered next: “squid in guts”. (Sometimes allergy stuffiness is a blessing!) Aside from trying many extremely gross samples, Doug brought home two edible souvenirs.  (More on that later.)

Next stop, a Shinto Shrine. It is said (at least by our tour guide) that in Japan, you live Shinto and die Buddhist. Evidently, Shinto covers the partying and good times, and Buddhism covers dying and the afterlife. (And there you have "Japanese Religion and Culture in Six Seconds!" by Emily)At the shrine we were taught the proper way to enter the holy area, as well as the proper way to offer a prayer. We were told that the Shinto gods don’t mind if you come from another religion; they’re equal opportunity acceptors of yen and givers of blessings. So Doug and I both offered a prayer for X chromosomes that mix with X chromosomes. 
(You know, the usual.)

Next:  Train Station.  We learned how to get to Tokyo on a bullet train and how much it costs. (A lot.)

Last stop:  Hachinohe Mall for a little shopping and lunch.  I had some pot stickers.  Doug had a curry and rice dish.  Gabe had what we had.  And Wheat Thins.

14:25  We're back!   Doug stays home to wait for Max, I head to North Base to pick up Sam from Preschool.
18:30 Doug prepares dinner on the grill for us and our new compulsory friends the A's:
Grilled Salmon (Yum!)  
(Fortunately without the eggs shown below.)
and Grilled Squid. (BLEH!!!)

I may not appreciate the squid, but "J" & Gabey LOVE it!  (Yes, J has a tentacle hanging out of her mouth.  That's TENTACLE!  "N-T!")
I'm pretty sure Gabe thinks this is an alternate form of Binky.  He chewed on it for a good 20 minutes.
(Please try not to throw-up.  This blog does not endorse that type of dieting.)

21:30 Exhausted blogging commences
22:13 I realize I've been staring blankly at the screen for the past six minutes and go to bed.  

This post will be finished and published at a later date.

--The End--

Sep 2, 2008

Three Cheers for 100 Yen Sushi!!!

Labor Day was cool for a few reasons:
1)  No School/No Work
2) Pancake Breakfast provided by Church Activities Committee  (No cooking!)
3)  We went to "100 Yen Sushi" for lunch and it was freakin' awesome!!!

Here's how it works;  

You go in and they seat you in a booth.  
On your way to the booth, you stop by the restroom to take your son potty. 

You go back for your camera and enter the bathroom again to take some video this time, all the while hoping no one comes in to see you filming the sink.  But that'll be a whole 'nother post.
You watch as marvelous little dishes of food glide by your table on a conveyor belt.  (Some are more marvelous than others.)You grab whatever you want to eat, and you eat it.  (Cantaloupe and Chicken Nuggets are available for the kids.)  Make sure you grab the plate too, not just the food.  That's how they know what to charge you.   They just count the empty plates! (Most items are 100 Yen.)For special orders, like say dessert, use the little order screen at your table.  

Your Pink Frappe will be delivered shortly via Bullet Train.  The perfect finish, to a perfect meal!!!

Want another taste?  Here ya go!
Don't disparage my video editing techniques...I'm new at this!