Sunday, November 28, 2010

All brats present and accounted for!

Gabi and Meg are home from Guam.  Pix coming soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Day Plans

I've never been a fan of Thanksgiving.  I love holidays, all the decorations and celebrations, but for some strange reason, I just really don't like Turkey Day.  No clue why.  Once I moved out of my parents house, I stopped celebrating it completely.  While I was married, I stepped up and did the whole cook-the-turkey thing, or we celebrated w/ in-laws, to make everyone else happy, but now that I'm single again...not gonna happen.  When the girls were younger (and I was single) our Thanksgiving tradition was to go to Waffle House for lunch, then go see whatever new animated movie was playing at the theater (T-Day week is always a popular time to release kids' movies in the US).

Now that I find myself single, again, on Thanksgiving, we'll be re-instituting our own Turkey Day traditions.  Of course, there's no Waffle House in Japan (sob, sob), so we've had to come up with other ideas.  The girls will be heading to Guam on Wednesday to spend the holiday with their dad and bonus mom (they moved to Guam last month!  So, so happy that M and G will get to see them on a fairly regular basis now!), they'll return Sunday night.  So that'll be their tradition for at least the next 3 Thanksgivings. This year Ethan and I are heading to Yokohama/Yokosuka Thur - Sat.  We'll check out Hakkejima Sea Paradise, which has a really cool aquarium, see the USS George Washington, which is in port right now at Yokosuka Navy base, and get in some Xmas shopping while we're there.

To all my US friends and fam - Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble, gobble!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just a really great day!

On Wednesday morning, I headed into Tokyo, going to the U.S. Embassy to give some training to a group of 12 people.  Nothing lifts my spirits like a trip to T-town.  I love everything about that place. I love driving through the crowded streets, I could sit in traffic for hours, just soaking up all the big city vibes.  I can, and have, wander aimlessly for hours, and never run out of things interesting things to see.

This was my first trip to the Embassy, and I got a really nice tour of the whole place before the class started.  The training went off without a hitch, I even used candy to keep everyone's attention.  I'd ask questions about the material I had covered, and the first correct answer got a piece of candy. There's nothing funnier than grown men, in suits and ties, competing for a mini Snickers bar!

After class, we all walked through Roppongi to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  The weather was absolutely perfect, a beautiful, crisp, clear autumn day.  At HRC I had the greasiest, cheesiest, most delicious burger I've had in a long, long time.  We took the scenic route back to the Embassy, to walk off the burger brick now lodged in my belly.

After the Embassy, I headed for the New Sanno, my home away from home, for a mani/pedi.  The foot massage that came w/ the pedi was heavenly after all the walking we'd done!

When I finished in the salon, I popped into the little liquor store at the NS to stock up on my favorite wine coolers, Fuzzy Navel flavor, which I can no longer get here at home.  

Then is was time to head to Okachimachi to meet the ever lovely Cecelia.  I'd been to Okachimachi a few times, but it was great to see some of C's favorite stores.  We parked ourselves at Starbucks and chatted   the evening away over caramel fraps and hot tea.  It was so great to see Cecelia, I can talk to her about absolutely anything with no fear of judgement.  A visit with her never fails to soothe my frazzled emotions, calm my fears that I'm complete nut-job and encourage me to just keep on keepin' on.  I'm so lucky to have met her and to be able to count her as a friend (Thanks Lil!).

All too soon, it was time to head for home.  I hopped on the subway back to Hiro-o, got my car from the NS (free parking, in the middle of Tokyo!!!), and made excellent time back to the base, not a spot of traffic!  

When I got home, the girls had rustled up dinner for themselves and E (Gabi picks him up from daycare most days), and had him bathed, in his jammies, and settled in front of  an episode of Pink Panther, all with no prompting from me. (yes, I paid them handsomely).

I was in bed by 9:30p, even though the next day was a holiday!  It was the perfect end to a perfect day!  (And somehow, I slept until nearly 11:00a the next morning!  That never, EVER happens!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


As Ethan calls it.  Meg is playing volleyball this season and had her first game this weekend.  I don't know anything about the sport, I don't think I've ever even actually seen a game before this weekend, but it was fun (and over quickly, I'm favorite kind of game!)  

At Meg's level, a full volleyball match is made up of three separate games, the winner is the team that wins the most games (at higher levels it's best out of 5) .  The first two games are to 25 points, the third game, if it's needed, is played to 15 points, BUT, the winning team must win by 2 points, so in our case, the last game went to 16 points.  I guess if both teams are really good, a match could go on for a long time, but fortunately for us, both teams were pretty stinky, so it was over fast.  And Meg's team won!  Hooray!

I have no idea where the girls get their athleticism from, I'm the most un-athletic, uncoordinated, non-joiner I've ever known, but they've both always loved sports and between them have tried just about every one for at least one season (and they typically excel at whatever they try).  I'm doing everything I can to encourage them to keep playing as they get older in the hopes it'll help them stay active and fit, and less likely to be battling the sloth-like tendencies and sheer hatred of exercise their mom has, when they hit middle age. 

Now that E is old enough to join and play his own sports, and I'm on my own, it's kind of tough trying to cover 3 different events for 3 different kids in 3 different places, all on the same day (every sport here plays on Saturdays) especially if someone has an away game, but like everything else, we're working it out!

The last point never made it on the board, but they won 16 - 14.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

3.5 months later!  My b-day was actually July 14, but I was looking through my photos tonight and realized that I never blogged about it!

On my b-day morning, I woke up to something tickling my nose, opened my eyes and there was E, holding a red carnation, tickling my nose with it.  He'd also drawn a cute picture for me.  I got ready for work, headed out to the van, and found this:

In addition to going the the flower shop the evening before to buy the flower for her brother to give me, and helping him draw the pic for me, my sweet, oldest daughter had woken up at 6:00a (during her summer vacay!!!), snuck out to the convenience store and bought me my favorite brekky, a cheesy Tornadoe and large Coke (I said favorite, not healthy)!  And when I turned the key in the van, a rockin' "Happy Birthday" song blasted from the speakers.  Gabi had somehow recorded herself, M and E singing, burned it on to a CD and had it all queued up in the CD player (remember, M had been the U.S. at her dad's for more than a month by this time).

I promptly burst into tears.  I had been DREADING my b-day this year.  I was still struggling to cope and recover from the devastation wreaked on our lives by DB, and still had no clue what our future held, whether or not I was getting my job, where we would go if I didn't, etc.  And all I kept thinking about was my last birthday.  DB was in school in the U.S. but had still managed to have flowers and a balloon delivered to me.  Anyway, I wasn't expecting anything good to come from this day.  But already, it was shaping up to be one of my best b-days ever.
Later that day, my co-workers took me out for lunch, and when we returned to the office, they had a big b-day cake waiting.  After work the kids joined me and my whole office for dinner at Chili's and I celebrated with b-day margaritas. This was also the day my job was finally posted so that I could officially apply for it, and, as we all know now, I got the job, and am in the process of living happily ever after!.  It ended up being a really great day.