Jan 31, 2010


Em will be turning "28" on February 9th! Unfortunately I will not be able to be with her this year, so since she is such a prolific talented blogger I will dedicate a blog a day until her Birthday! So Em, check each day for your Birthday Blog and maybe I'll bring you back an elephant from Thailand!

Some background on birthday traditions: The original Dubs hang birthday signs in the kitchen. Most of these were drawn with the help of Ed Emberly how to draw books. They were usually a little silly and a bit corny but fun and creative.


I May Have a Little Bit of a Problem...

I made a small purchase a few weeks ago.

The goods just came in the mail.
I don't know if you can tell the scale of this Box o' Tupperware, but it's half the size of my kitchen table.

Like I said, I may have a little bit of a problem.

When I told Doug I was going to buy some (more) "Modular Mates" to organize the cupboards and pantry he said "with what money?" (Typical response!) I said, "I'll fire Mamasan and use my pottery money!!!"

Yes, I really meant business. (But for the record, Mamasan was losing her luster a bit. She had stopped deep cleaning and started doing mostly laundry and putting it all away in the wrong place. Which is, shockingly, not very helpful. And for the OTHER record, Modular Mates were 40% off at the time of my purchase!!!)

So Mamasan has been let go, and I'm in debt. For Tupperware. And since I make so stinkin' much money teaching pottery, it'll only take me like say...three months to get out of the hole.

Doug is not sure what to make of me. But then I reminded him of my last large purchase of Tupperware Modular Mates: I was about 7 months pregnant. With Gabe.
(Just for the record, my large rectangle Modular Mates will NOT be filled with Cheesy Puffs or Pretzels.
Think whole grains! Totally worthy purchase, right?!?!?!)

I'm going to blame it on nesting. (One more reason in favor of adopting the next one!)

And that is all I'm going to say about THAT!

I have some organizing to do.

Jan 20, 2010

Things I Hate

I'm in a bad mood. Not so much bad as just...not good. And I've been thinking about things I hate.
See, I'm not a big hater. I don't hate people. That's too exhausting. And generally, I'm pretty much okay with life. But once in awhile, (January) I get ticked off...at myself, or someone else but mostly just at an annoying behavior or thing.

My neighbor told me when she thinks of me, she thinks I'm "all sweetness and light."

HA! I'll show her!!!

So, here it goes: My list of sourness and dark:

1. January. I hate January. It's cold, gray, and anti-climactic. Even if it's not cold (I'm talking to you, San Diego) it's STILL anti-climactic. What is there to look forward to in January? Nothing, that's what. Poop on January.

2. Dell computers and India-based tech support.
(But I do LOVE my Mac... NO stop it! This is a NEGATIVE post.)

3. Boy Cargo Pants. I've blogged about them before.

4. Hair. Hair that is detached from the head. Hair in brushes and combs. Hair on the floor. Black hair on my things. (Because I know without a doubt it's not mine.) Just HAIR! ICK!
Just say YES to Universal Laser Hair Removal!!! It's a fundamental RIGHT!!!

5. Allergies. I've been sniffling and sneezing ever since I got to Japan. All.Year.Long. Allergy meds help, but only a little. I still sniffle and I still go through a box of Puffs every few days. I'm allergic to Japan!

6. Sometimes I hate the halls after church. I'm not a big fan of loitering to begin with. But you put me in a cramped church for three hours, deprive me of protein, give me three or more kids to wrangle, and you can expect me to exit said cramped church as quickly as possible after 1 o'clock...Must get home. Must remove painful shoes, tights, slip, and skirt. Must eat. Must nap. In that order. Must NOT loiter or be sociable! (Sorry friends. It's a personal problem.)

7. Cereal fused to my kitchen counter/table/floor with dried milk. It takes a hammer and chisel to remove that crap!

8. Whiny bloggers who complain about stuff they hate.

I could go on but...
my neighbor just called.

She said she adds Vitamin D to her daily smoothies and she hasn't gotten seasonal blues this year.

*tortured sigh*

FINE! I'll try it.

...but I'll still always hate January!!!

P.S. After grocery shopping today, I have two more things to add:
* Maternity pants that don't stay up. (all maternity pants)
* And raw tomatoes. Yuck. (Had to buy some for Doug's salsa.)

P.P.S. Not to ruin the feel of this post, but I have to say this. Right after writing this cranky rant, I clicked on THIS link from THIS blog. I must admit...I LOVE this video of Susan Boyle's first performance.
It made me cry. (Dang pregnancy hormones! I HATE pregnancy hormones!)

Jan 5, 2010

Items of Note/Notorious Items

*Gabey gave me his first compliment yesterday:
(While petting my just-out-of-the-shower, still wet and uncombed hair...)
"Mama! Yo heh so han-some!!!"
Yep, he's pretty cute. Think I'll keep him.

*Doug is going to Thailand soon for a three week long humanitarian mission. (He's very excited and I'm sure he'll blog all the details soon.) At the end of his trip I'm going to fly down and meet him for 3 or 4 days. (Leaving the kids here.) I'm excited not just to see a cool new country, but to get out of the COLD, WET, YUCKY weather for a few days!

On the way home we're going to try to fit in a visit to the Tokyo L.D.S. temple (my first time) which is an added bonus!

*Yesterday, here in Misawa, it alternated raining and snowing all day long. This created an enormous amount of SLUSH...which I had to walk in and drive in (since Tuesday is Commissary/grocery shopping day.)
I didn't like it.
--End of complaint--

*Last Friday Doug and I went on a date and got really yummy tempura rice bowls. They were REALLY YUMMY! (We also ordered sushi. Unfortunately, we forgot to ask for "no wasabi" so my first (and last) bite burned out my entire nasal cavity. But I learned an important lesson: I still don't like wasabi.)

*Doug got us the latest season of "24" for an early Christmas present and we started watching it over the break. We're about half way through. I'm really worried about Jack. And Tony really let me down. Sometimes I worry about it during the day. Evidently, I can't take this kind of drama when I'm pregnant.

*Speaking of pregnancy, we got the results of the Amnio. (We got the Amnio because an early screening showed an indicator for Down Syndrome.) The results are; Baby is healthy! And still, definitely, 100% a boy!

*Speaking of pregnancy again, Doug said the other day "This pregnancy is so different, if I didn't know we were having a boy I'd think you were having a girl."

So it has been with all my pregnancies. Different morning sickness, different cravings, different symptoms. This time, I'm emotional. See, in my normal life, I'm not a crier. But lately, I cry at the drop of a hat. Hearing a sad story, reading a sad e-mail, (or a happy e-mail) talking to Janeen about Merrill, (who is deployed) watching "24"...all can make me tear up.

Doug thinks it's hilarious. So I punch him in the arm and feel better. (Plus, with this kid I'm gaining weight exponentially. The holidays were not easy on my bottom. I AM trying to eat better but did you know they make CHRISTMAS Cadbury Mini Eggs now? Only they're balls not eggs? It's TRUE! I ate half a bag just last night!)

*We are almost half way through our time here! Woah! Time flies. Better get your visit in SOON! (I'm talking to Call's, Gibson's and Whitacre's. I've given up on the rest of you.)


I think now I've covered everything.

--The End--

Jan 1, 2010

Christmas Re-cap

Christmas Eve:
Our first Christmas away from extended family, (while living in San Francisco) we went out for Mexican food on Christmas Eve. We liked it so much, we've been doing it ever since. (We don't go out here, though. We make it at home. But who's to say whose version is more authentic...the American or Japanese...??)

We had two awesome (very healthy vegetarian) families, as well as a set of missionaries, over for dinner. (See Doug's blog for the cultural lesson we got from the Australian missionary.)

Our Mexican feast included: Vegetarian Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Bolillos, (Spindle Rolls), Salad with Hicama, Fruit Salad, Mexican Hot Chocolate to drink, plus Tres Leches, Flan, and Sweet Rice for dessert. YUM!!!

After dinner, we had a spiritual thought from the missionaries, Christmas carols, the Nativity enacted by the kids,
and the traditional Opening of the Jammies:

It was a great night with great friends!

Christmas Day:

Christmas Morning was the best one I've had since becoming a mom eight years ago. Here's why: (It's not even because I got a new piano, Snoopy Sno-cone Machine, Samurai Sword back scratcher, Sushi Play-doh set, sea glass jewelry and lots of books. Those were just bonuses!!!)
My oldest man-child, Maxwell, takes after his father, who takes after HIS father in the area of "present opening reaction".

All three have the same response when opening gifts, and the reaction is...NO reaction.

Or maybe a smile and one-word response.

An exclamation of surprise or happiness is extremely rare, and a joyful jump is entirely out of the question.

So for Maxwell's whole life, I've watched, the following scene unfold:

--Christmas Morning--

Door opens...
Boy (or boys) run(s) in.
Max see's his BIG, MAIN Santa gift, unwrapped, in front of him.
Max looks at BIG, MAIN gift. MIGHT let out weak "cool!", then, IMMEDIATELY moves on to see what else he has. (Once he even uttered the horrible phrase "Is that all?")

This happens EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR!!!

THIS YEAR, however...HE DIDN'T MOVE ON! He didn't look for more!!!

He saw his HUGE pile of loose Lego's (purchased by a thrifty Santa on e-Bay) and with big eyes, moved in and started building!!! And KEPT building happily not even ASKING to open his wrapped presents under the tree!!! Not even bothering to raid his stocking for candy!!!

It seriously warmed this jaded mother's heart!

Sammy, thankfully, is a lot easier to please. He saw his "Ho town of Gee-o Twax*" (Purchased by a thrifty Santa on Misawa's Virtual Yard Sale) and yelled and jumped for joy.** And ALSO played happily without asking to open his wrapped presents under the tree!

And THAT is how I judge a successful gift-giving year! Great job, Santa!!!! You really earned your cookies this time!

(For the record, Gabe got a Little People airplane, and some rhythm instruments, which he liked, but he was mostly interested in playing GeoTrax with Sammy.) (Here he is showcasing some Anpanman finger puppets.)
Later in the day, another of our favorite families (not vegetarian) came over for another delicious meal. (Made mostly by Erin of said favorite family.) Turkey, Potatoes, and Gravy, Stuffing, Rolls, Salad, Martinelli's to drink and Chocolate Mousse Cake for dessert. After which the kids watched a movie and the adults played "Sequence". (Thanks Shad and Kellie, for introducing us to Sequence so many years ago!)

Anyway, it was a busy, exhausting, friend, food, and fun filled two days and I wouldn't trade a minute of it. (Except those minutes when I had to tell Erin we had no other side dishes because Doug had taken a nap and I lost track of time reading my novel...ehem.)

I feel very very blessed that in the absence of extended family, we have such great friends here. We really seem to luck out every where we live when it comes to meeting really cool people. (Who accept us for the sarcastic, irreverent, half carnivore/half vegetarian weirdos that we are.)

That's enough of THAT!

Hope YOU had a Merry Christmas too! Your card is FINALLY in the mail!
Happy New Year!!!!

*Note to all parents with boys: We've been through a lot of different trains and train sets. We like Fisher Price GeoTrax the best! Buy 'em on Craigslist!

**The BEST and my favorite reaction of the day: Sam opens a gift. It's two "Pigeon" books. He YELLS gleefully and then says "These awe by Mo Willems! My favowit awe-tho!!!"