Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

I can't believe we're finally home!  It felt like we were gone for months!  Out of my mind with happiness, terrified something tragic is going to happen, I never, ever have this kind of good fortune, where everything just falls so perfectly into place.  All the stars just keep aligning themselves as one thing after another goes my way!  Scary stuff :(

Although I did have to play the crazy gaijin bitch card before we even left the airport, w/ the shmucks on the terminal transfer bus!  Planting themselves and their one little bag 2 steps inside the door, or directly in front of the luggage rack, blocking all access, as I struggle to load 10 suitcases, 4 carry ones, a menagerie of blankets, pillows and loveys, and 3 exhausted kids onto the bus in the 60 seconds it stops!  Come people!?!?!?!?!  Get a clue! (No, that's not a typo, between the 4 of us, we had TEN full size suitcases!!!!)

Other than that, I am rapidly sinking into Nippon bliss.......

Got E registered for big kindy, he starts on Wednesday.  My baby!  A school boy!

We didn't get to the hotel until after 10:00 last night, so I let the girls play hooky today, they'll start school tomorrow.  They missed the first 3 weeks, but their teachers all know them well and all agreed they'd have no trouble catching up.

Miss Gabi is now the proud owner of 1998 Daihatsu Sirion.  She's over the moon excited and keeps looking out the window every 10 minutes, "I just want to see it one more time!".  She's had the car for 2 hours and has already been to the gas station (twice:  once for gas, the second time to clean her windshield), the conbini, the ATM and to pick up Meg at a friends.  All separate trips.  And she keeps asking me if I need any errands run.

I go back to work tomorrow, hoping my desk isn't buried under an avalanche of crap to catch up on, but I know my e-mail inbox will be overflowing!

Now we just have to wait for a house to become available (although I certainly don't mind staying at the hotel, w/ the daily maid service and all, plus I'll be reimbursed for all of our expenses!)

I tried keeping up w/ everyone's while we were gone, but there were lots of days I was w/out internet, so I'll spend the rest of the week catching up, I've missed all of you!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There's no place like home...There's no place like home...There's no place like home....

And this time next week, we'll be there! WOO HOO! We leave the U.S. stupidly early Saturday morning, arriving in T-town Sunday afternoon!

I've got some serious eating and major shopping to do over the next 6 days, but I think I'm up for the challenge!

Just in case you're wondering, over the last 4 weeks I've eaten at:

Dave and Busters (left me craving steak fajitas the whole trip!)
Cafe' Du Monde (A legendary cafe in the French Quarter of New Orleans)
Olive Garden
Po' Folks ("Down home country" food)
Cracker Barrel (ditto. Chicken and dumplings were to die for!)
Chuck E. Cheese
CiCi's Pizza (all-you-can-eat buffet w/ amazing BBQ pizza)
Ranchito Morin (Mexican)
Dairy Queen (Oh Peanut Buster Parfait, how I'll miss you!)
McD's (Japanese McD's is better)

Still need to hit Harry T's, Cafe Graziea and a Chinese buffet (American Chinese food is very different from Japanese Chinese food. Weird, I know), .

From the mouth of my sweetie boy...

After seeing a commercial for 100th time:

E: Mom, you can go on to find a new husband.

Me: I don't think I need a new husband Sweets, I'm fine all by myself, with just you and your sisters!

E: Well, you'll have a husband when I grow up.

Me: How?

E: 'Cause I'm gonna be your husband.

When I explained that he couldn't marry me, he cried :( What a sweetie, sweet mama's boy! I'm sure his future spouse will hate me!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Home (?)

I have mixed emotions about my hometown.  Mainly because I never really considered it my "home".  We left Japan when I was 9, moving to a base in Montgomery, AL.  When I was 12, my dad retired from the Air Force and we moved to a little, country town just north of the base. 

I was devasted.  Even at only 12, I considered myself a city girl, and more of a "global citizen" than an American citizen.  Moving to this tiny, hick town felt like a death sentence to me. 

But like most kids, I adapted and settled in, making the best of my life in Wetumpka, always knowing it was only temporary, and I'd be leaving as soon as I possibly could (and I did). I made a lot of really good friends during my 8 years here, we had a lot of fun, and I have tons of great memories of my time here.  But it's still doesn't feel like home to me.  My parents have lived here for almost 30 years now, so it's most definitely their home, but somehow, it's just not mine.  When people ask me where I'm from, I don't say "Alabama".  I just say I've lived all over the place, and don't come from any place in particular (I was born in Missouri, but we left there when I was just a few weeks old, and I've never been back).

That being said, I've really enjoyed coming back and reconnecting, face-to-face with so many of my high school besties, some that I haven't seen in 15+ years.  We've strolled down memory lane, shared some laughs and loved on each others kiddos.

Our first day in town, I met up with a bunch of friends at Chick-a-filet for lunch.  Later that night, we met up again for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (my first Mexican food in over 3 years!  DELICIOSO!)   We stuffed our faces with yummy queso dip and margaritas and spent the evening reminiscing, swapping stories and discovering that apparently I was the ring leader of the vast majority of our.........adventures (misadventures?).  Of course, that's not how I remember it at all, but everyone else agreed that I was, in fact, the mastermind behind most of our escapades.  Funny how time can blur the edges of your memories......

Note:  Donna, Lori and I became friends in the 7th grade, we were all only 12 years old. Debra, Jeanna, Monica and I became good friends during high school.

Anyway, pix from Ranchito Morin:

E devouring his fried ice cream (how fattening does that sound  FRIED ice cream?)

Clockwise from the left: 
Lori, Monica, Debra, Donna and yours truly (check out my cleavage! Woo hoo!)

Our spawn, L to R: 
 Daniel, Jesse, G w/ Miss Sylvia, M w/ baby Nico, E and Phoenix

E and Sylvia, both 5 years old.