April 22, 2008

Stake Sunday

This is the second month in a row we've had a woman from a stake auxiliary speak on high council Sunday in addition to a high councilor. Is this anywhere else? Is it just me that can't help think "it's about stinking time!"?

Seven Years

Highlights of our anniversary:
1 grown up fight where no children were present, voices were not raised, but sensitive issues were addressed.
2 flower arrangements courtesy of M and Jesse.
Dinner at Korean restaurant after consulting with friends 3 times.
4 100 yen milkshakes at McDonald's for dessert.
Brunch and book group with 5 of my friends.
6 times we threatened to go home if there was any misbehavior during dinner (at least 6).
7 days until we find out if we grow to 5 (or possibly 6) this year (just a clarification, there's no news...yet).

I'm a lucky person. We are hoping for 70 more years together (at least). Thanks J, for a wonderful day.

April 19, 2008

Who's your mama?

It's not unusual for children to have an imaginary playmate. My neighbor in Denver had one that lived in the basement. It freaked me out at the time. Looking back, she was an only child in the middle of Denver, who wouldn't want an imaginary friend there?

Here in Tokyo, it's a little different. G has a Japanese mom. She sounds pretty awesome. Tonight she told G that she could run around in her birthday suit and not brush her teeth. We've been told that when she brushes G's hair, it doesn't hurt. She lives far away, but she comes around pretty often from what I can tell. She sounds pretty great and if she is anything like the Japanese moms around here, she looks great, too.

April 15, 2008

Parenting Interrupted

Two reasons why the talk at church today was interesting. First, the speaker was a visitor from the stake on assignment with the high counselor. She is in the Stake Relief Society presidency, I believe. Brilliant! I wish I had thought of having the stake women's auxiliaries speak on high counsel Sunday.

Second, she made an insightful point on parenting and mothering in particular. Her question was "What is interrupting what?" Meaning, are your children interrupting your housework? hobbies? work? Or is housework, hobbies, and schoolwork interrupting parenting your children? What are you really supposed to "do" in any given day?

I've been pondering this question a lot lately as I try to come to terms yet again with my role as a stay at home mom. I'm not always incredibly fond of or good at the job, and fantasize about my life after small children now and then.

I come back to two things. First, the desire to keep my children safe. For a pretty laid back mom, I'm incredibly overprotective and controlling of who has contact with my children. If anyone is going to yell and hit my kids, it's going to be me!!

Second, though it's been said to me many times, it's finally hitting home. This time when my children are small is almost over. If we are unable to have anymore children, I have just a year or so until G is in preschool. M's already gone for most of the day. I resented when people said how quickly those years flew. But now I say it to anyone who will listen. They fly. They're gone.

And so that and a few other things keeps me at home with the kiddies. And you know what? I don't resent them. I like them a lot. And I'm excited about what they are becoming. So for now, I do kids. I brush hair, practice reading, practice Hiragana, play ABC games, put puzzles together, play Easter hunt, make play dough, watch endless cartoons in Japanese and English, dance the chocho dance, and give endless hugs and kisses and band-aids. There's also discipline, manners, conflict resolution, time management, courtesy, music appreciation, and responsibility I teach on the side. It's good work, but vacation time is limited.

I wrote this in February, but finally finished it today.

Shitsurei shimasu

If you don't want to read about going to the ob/gyn, you've been warned so stop now.

Ok, so I've been going to the doctor for awhile now and this is the first time I realized he politely said "shitsurei shimasu" as he inserted the speculum. I tried so hard not to laugh. It's literally translated as "I'm going to be rude", though it's more like "excuse me." I guess it's nicer than "this will feel a little cold" or "this might be a little uncomfortable". I mean, yeah, it is rude. At least here in Japan they tell you as it is.

April 13, 2008


If you ever travel, you're supposed to get something for the people at home. So if you went to Kamakura without the kids and visited temples and shrines, what do you bring back? Buddha lollipops, of course!

April 10, 2008


G and I went to the washi store. I should have taken shots inside. (duh). It was like a fabric store but with paper. The RS is going to cover tea boxes for enrichment this month. I'll show you how mine turns out. I'm making one for the girls with the purple paper. G picked it out and it is perfect for them. I'm making the other with the red sakura paper. Enjoy my crafty friends. If any of you out there want me to bring some paper back, it's very portable.


I just found a new way to waste insane amounts of time on the internet. Weirdest thing, finding elementary school friends, ex-boyfriends, tons of personal info on people I haven't seen in years like in 5 minutes flat.

Be my friend!!

April 9, 2008

Tokyo National Museum

Last Saturday we went on yet another museum outing. The highlight of the trip was realizing that we are getting better at living in Tokyo. We brought some snacks and a water bottle, but did not balk at paying $35 for lunch at the museum restaurant, $2 on ice cream bars, and $1.50 on a Coke (another headache), and let's not even figure out how much transportation cost. We could tell we did well because as we were leaving, M wanted to go to another museum. Ueno park was crowded with revelers, soaking in the sun and Sakura and getting rip roaring drunk. We were pleased to find the museum very uncrowded for a Saturday.

April 7, 2008

Ichi Nensee

Today was the first day of first grade for M. She only cried once. It's a class full of misfits. There are only 11 students in the class. Four are foreigners: A Bangladeshi boy, M, and a Chinese girl, who all live on our floor. There's also Emiri (Emily). They all speak Japanese except M and maybe Shibaji (from Bangladesh), but only Emily speaks English. But she doesn't talk, since she is even more shy than M. Even more interesting, we met Emily's dad today and found out they are LDS, but go to the Japanese ward. (Are there any gaijin who speak Japanese who aren't Mormon? Yes, but not many.) Oh, and lest we forget Rin-kun our autistic totally disruptive friend from youchien is also in the class. Although Gwyn was definitely in the running today. Miriam was sitting in the front at the other end of the auditorium and told us, "I could hear everything Gwyn was saying." She has no volume control. Miriam said of her teacher, "She was my favorite. When I saw her in all the teachers, she was the one I was hoping would be my teacher." Plus she got a stack of very cool textbooks and school supplies, including a plastic clock, a box of cool counting toys and math aids, and a lot more. Miriam played with it for an hour when she got home and only stopped when I put it away so Gwyn wouldn't lose the pieces. It's no wonder Americans hate math.

J wrote this for me since I had yet another headache. My life is so cruise that I get a stress headache from getting M ready for school. What a life.

April 4, 2008

Aloha Friday

I could blog about how much blood I've had drawn for testing, how spring break is almost over (yeah), how we're reading our first marriage book (almost 7 years and we finally break down and buy one), how M keeps trying to get me to move back to California tomorrow, or I could just post this awesome picture of Pounders. This is where I would have liked to have spent my Friday.photo courtesy of adamapalmer
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