Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bad Wedding Day

I'm not even sure what to say about this. Laugh? Cry? Be sad for the bride? Be happy it's not you?

I'm struggling here...LOL!

I got this emailed to me today and just had to share. Although I'm sure some of us have wedding mishap stories to share, I'm not sure any of them could top this....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Boy and His Dog

Monkey is finally getting to the age where he's interacting with our boxer, Bo. Outside of the fact that the doggy is a total spaz when company comes over, he's really a good dog with JK. He's gentle, he doesn't bark at him, he tolerates being poked and pulled, he's never shown any aggression or possesiveness with toys or food. He's been really great!

We were very lucky when we found this guy at a gas station 3 years ago in Mineral Wells. He was about a year old at the time and had just been hanging around the station for about a month or so. The station owners thought he'd been abandoned. They offered us $5 just to take him. Ha! They'd been feeding him scraps, but since he was so skinny, they named him Bones. Within just a few minutes we started realizing he was fairly well-mannered and pretty gentle. So N and I looked at each other and we knew we couldn't just leave him behind. In the truck he went!

First night at the W house. It was freezing outside, but with blankets and a heating pad, he was happy as a clam.

The original idea was to take him back to DFW to the local no-kill shelter. But within a few days he'd won us over. So a trial week at our house and we gained a pet. Bones became Bo and the rest is history!

We discovered he LOVED to chew on things. Including Italian leather boots, a newly upholstered antique chair, pillows and the window sill. We quickly learned that boxers love and NEED toys to keep themselves out of trouble.

Little did we know at the time what a good friend he'd become to our future son. We look forward to watching the two of them growing up together.

The Standoff

The Getaway

The Tease

The Fake Lose

The Victor Takes The Spoils (Or at least that's what the dog is letting him think.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thank You Mandr!

Have you ever received a great gift, but it just wasn't something you needed at the time? My sweet friend got me a package of foam letters at one of my baby showers for JK to use in the bathtub. He wasn't even born yet, but it was a perfect gift for when he got a little older. Bathtub toys are a thing of the past. His floaty boats and ducks just don't hold his intellect anymore. This week he screams if he doesn't get his "didders" (letters).

He's doing pretty good if I say so myself. He wrote his first thank you note the other night.

There was only one A in the package, so even though it says "Mandr", it's supposed to be your full name. You know who you are. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Playing With Mimi

Grandmother in Japanese is obaachan. A bit of a mouthful for anyone, but even more so for a 14 month old that calls his stuffed monkey "Buh". So we got creative! My mother's first name starts with Mi, so Mimi seemed like a possibility. Little Monkey took to it right away and my Mama loves it! It was so precious to wake up yesterday morning and see him run into her arms saying, "Mimimimi". Talk about making a Momma's heart melt! Oy!

We've discovered that Mimi and Momma are quite alike in their methods of Monkey Play. Neither of us have any qualms about making a huge racket or looking like total idiots ourselves in an effort to entertain The Toddler In Charge.

About three seconds after I took this last shot, Monkey jumped off the sofa and ran into the other room to play with toys. Mama sat on her knees for a few moments catching her breath. She looked to me and said, "He is so busy. I am very tired."



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Thousand Words

Happy Birthday Little Asa Benjamin! The world is now sweeter with your miraculous presence and it was my honor to meet you today. You are flesh and blood proof that God answers our prayers. We have loved you since before you were even conceived and cannot wait to see what God's plan is for your sweet life.

Heavenly Father, I sit tonight so incredibly humbled by Your Faithfulness. Why I question You so often is beyond me. Why you put up with our faithlessness is beyond me. Thank you for Your Patience. Thank you for Loving us and refusing to give up on us. This child is here today because of You and ONLY because of You. Let us not take credit for any of Your miraculous work. You are so very Good! Thank you for making my sweet friend a Mommy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Conversations With My Mama

We've spent every night up very late talking. So needless to say, my makeup has not been taken off every night like it should. I'm too tired. It's not escaped her noticed.

Mama: A-chan, you must take off make-up before you go bed. You will look old faster if you sleep with makeup on night time.
A: Yes, mama.
Mama: You are too pretty daughter. I don't want you look old too early.
A: Yes, mama.

She has fallen into her mama role very naturally. LOL!

I was wondering what her husband and sons liked, so I could find appropriate souvenirs for her to take back to Japan.

A: Mama, does your husband and your sons like baseball?
Mama: Yes, very much. But I do not like baseball. I like American football.
A: (a little surprised) Really?
Mama: Yes, I like Cowboys.
A: (wondering if she's just being polite because we're from Texas.) You like the Cowboys?
Mama: Yes, I like uniforms. Tight pants on man look very nice.

Of course! How have I missed that all these years???

We are entering the Asian grocery market and a Chinese lady standing at a sample table immediately starts going on and on in Chinese to my mama.

Mama: I sorry. I am Japanese.
Chinese Lady: You like dumpling sample?
Mama: No thank you.
Mama: (turning to me in a whisper, as we walk away) Do I look Chinese to you?

Hahaha! I moved to the mainland US when I was 17. After being raised around mostly Polynesian and Asian folks, I remember thinking all these caucasian folks look so alike. I guess even Asians look too similar to other Asians.

At my friend's baby shower on Saturday morning, my mother-in-law walked around with a platter of cappuccinno cupcakes. She bent down to offer some to my mama, sitting next to me, whose plate was still very full of breakfast foods.

Mama: No thank you.
A: No thank you.
Mama: (turning to me in a whisper) I already eat three!

Like me, she sneaks her sweets! :-)

We're eating dinner at our local favorite Mexican restaurant. N and I ordered her a large dinner sampler with a taco, a tamale, an enchilada and the customary beans and rice. I didn't expect she'd eat it all, but I wanted her to try a little of everything. She plowed through almost everything and I remember thinking she must have been really hungry. I ordered a box to go from our waiter because I was full and wanted to take my leftovers home. When he brought it and I started scooping my food into it, she stopped mid-bite to watch me.

Mama: A-chan, you take food home?
A: Yes, mama. I am full and we can eat this later.
Mama: (sighing deeply) I did not know. In Japan, it rude to not eat everything on your plate. I tell myself, "Eat, eat, eat. Go, go, go. Don't think full tummy, think empty tummy. Eat more, eat more!"

LOL! Bless her heart. When I got home I showed her the wonders of unbuttoning your pants and using a Bella Band. She is now a big fan. Along with chips, guacamole, and margaritas! We sat in front of the boob tube and relaxed, watching cute men in tight pants.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

She's He-ere!

For those of you that are praying for us, I cannot tell you thank you enough. Although I will try: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and THANK YOU again! We have needed your prayers desperately and are very, very grateful.

After a very emotional reunion at the airport and a night spent catching up on as much as you can before jet-lag just plain knocks you on your butt (her body is about 14 hours ahead of Texas time - eeks!), we've gotten some rest and are spending some time catching up some more today. JK is at school, N is at work, and I've taken the day off, which has left us time to focus on each other.

We've cried, we've shared pictures and stories, we've giggled, we've laughed until we almost wet our pants...and I feel "found"...if that even makes sense. Not that I don't have roots, but these are roots that feel like they belong to ME. I have finally seen where my wrinkled hands come from. Where my short legs and completely flat-ass are from. Where my giggle is from. Where my chatterbox personality and silly sense of humor is from. Where my taste for salty foods and love for gardening comes from. And this is just in 20 or so hours with a pretty decent language barrier. (A lot can be said for drawing, hand gestures, funny noises and LOTS of patience - ha!) I can only imagine what the next few weeks will be like!

So today, our agenda consists of shopping at some Asian markets for familiar foods, browsing more pictures, more catching up, enjoying the beautiful weather, and just BEING. I really don't know what the next few weeks will be like, but if we go underground for awhile and you don't see N and I in our normal schedules, it's nothing personal. We are just trying to make the very most of every waking moment we can squeeze from each day while she's here. Which I can tell you already, is not long enough...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Monkey At A Fall Festival - Parte Dos

On Halloween night, we went to visit Gramma and De-Da's church. They had a Fall Festival similar to the one at our church. Except the booth's were not overrun with the older kids and the booth workers were a little more generous with the candy. TOO generous. LOL!

Very excited to see Gramma....

A family shot before the night got away from us. (And before the sugar made it hard for him to sit still.)

Our first taste of candy...he was not really a fan. Neither was Mommy when she realized the fur around his monkey face was all sticky-fied with green candy dye.

Are you keeping up De-Da?

Enjoying the side of the bounce house. He was too little to actually go in, but he still had a good time when Daddy bounced him on the side of it!


Yeah, we had a bit of a meltdown at the end of the evening. LOL! I don't think it was really that he was upset at leaving the festival, but more along the lines of not wanting to leave Gramma and De-da.

Even though this was officially our 2nd Halloween, it's the first one that Monkey was old enough to enjoy and participate in. All said, he had a really good time! And Mommy and Daddy had a good time raiding the mini-Snickers after bedtime. :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monkey at a Fall Festival - Parte Una

Every year our church has a Fall Festival, where the kiddos can come dressed in their Halloween finery, sweat to death in bounce houses, eat lots of junk food, and down a ton of sugar, all just an hour or so before bedtime. Swell times for all!

Last year, some of you might remember our precious 2 month old as The Angry Banana:

This year, it's The Hungry Monkey:

Sad as it is, this is the best shot. The boy was far too interested in his hotdog and processed orange cheese nachos to give momma a smile.

Here we are with the D family:

The is the calf in the children's petting zoo that decided to lay down while JK was hanging on the side of the portable fence. Except she misjudged how big her butt was (honey, we've all done it!), banged into the portable fence rather brutely, which knocked him onto his bottom, terrifying him. Nothing like a huge cow ass knocking you over into a pile of bunny rabbit pellets to put a damper on wearing a new outfit. Needless to say, the children's petting zoo was a bust after that. Although upon leaving, he saw a baby chicken and very plainly said, "Duck."

Meh. *shrug* Close enough. I still think he's the prettiest and smartest baby I've ever met!

Looking for a banana...or a compassionate somebody to help him escape the fuzzy get-up.

Help is here! Daddy finally arrives...

...just in time for Mass Melt-Down and flinging off of the monkey's head.

We'll be doing this all over again this Friday at Gramma and De-Da's church. Parte dos to come...

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I guess Granddad is hard to say. My sweet FIL is no longer Granddad, but De-Da. Not sure where the Monkey got that, but that's what he calls N's dad now. They had some nice bonding time today when he came over to help N with some manly man home improvement work. The "quick trip to Home Depot" ended up with De-Da buying a bunch of new tools. I swear that's only reason why he helps N with this buy cool tools.

Reading a new book "Monkeys Tumble".

Practicing his own tumbles.

"I don't want to go inside!" Does anyone else see the irony in this shot? If you click on it and make it bigger, you should get what I'm saying. LOL.

"Oh ok, I'll go inside as long as you are. I want to help too!"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mandi, You've Helped Create a Monster!

Thanks to your post about Honeycrisp Apples, I decided to grab a few at the store to try. I got home and cut some of it up for the Little Monkey to try along with me. But those tiny little slices just wasn't cutting it. So I let him hold the actual apple, while I watched him carefully nibble little bites off.

Let's just say that I lost my apple...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hard Knocks

Yesterday, I volunteered in Little Monkey's Joyland class at church. It was me and one other lady, who was a young early-twenty-something newlywed with no children. Between us, we had 6 babies. We were very lucky because all of our tots were the same age (13 months) and were actually very easy to care for. It was fun to see all these babies play together! Except my fellow-teacher was freaking out everytime my son would climb on this little set of baby stairs.

The wooden contraption only had three stairs on either side and the whole point was to teach toddlers how to climb up and down stairs. Even though the highest point was only about 12 inches off the ground, of course there is risk involved!

My problem is this: my son thinks he's Evil Knievel. He's very much like his father in that aspect. He has no fear. He definitely doesn't get that from me. So while all the other children were busy banging blocks and sucking on their pacifiers, my son is climbing these stairs with a puzzle piece in each hand and standing at the top dancing like he's playing Dance, Dance Revolution. I knew eventually he was going to fall. I knew he was going to hurt his head or bruise something. But I also know my son. You have to let him find out the boundaries on his own. Otherwise, he doesn't learn.

Not really sure where he gets that from...ahem.

Holding his hand the entire class time or pulling him off the stairs was not going to teach him anything. Nor was it going to help the other teacher with the remaining five babies in the room. I have no doubt that she thought I was a bad mother, not paying attention to the safety of my child. What she doesn't know is that I had a stroke everytime Monkey stood at the top of the stairs. It was a physical battle for me to NOT go over there and just remove the darn thing from the class. I was keeping a close eye on him in spite of my non-chalant demeanor. Of course, about an hour into class, he got to the top of the stairs, started dancing around and fell straight onto his head onto the floor, legs in the air, arms flailing, puzzle pieces flying all around him. Of course, I dropped what I was doing and went over and hugged the stuffin' out of him while I checked him over. Nothing broken. He was fine. Nothing more than a knot on his forehead and a little carpet burn. Poor little guy! I think it scared him more than anything. He snuggled in and boo-hooed into my neck. For about 6.2 seconds. When he realized he lost his puzzle pieces, he immediately squirmed to get off my lap and go find them. Only to be distracted by the stray Goldfish crackers under the table, which he made a beeline to go eat.

I breathed a sigh of relief, looked up and saw all the babies and the other teacher just sitting on the playmat, staring silently with eyes as big as saucers and mouths agape.

Someday when she has children, she'll understand. Someday she'll understand that if we could protect our children from every harm in the world we would. She'll understand that more than anything else, we hate seeing our children hurt in any form. When my child hurts, I hurt 10 times more. But if I am doing my job as a good parent, allowing my child to test his boundaries and allowing him to get hurt are some of the things that will help him grow most. Even if I have the ability to stop it, the end result of my child's well-being will far outweigh the immediate pain he might experience at the moment.

Thank you Heavenly Father for showing me that lesson today. I feel like I understand you so much more. I'm so sorry for being so presumptuous to think I know better than you.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Flying Monkey

I really should title this "How Daddy gives Mommy a Heart Attack". My blood pressure goes up just looking at the pictures. I swear this kid has no fear. Adrenaline junkie. Just like Daddy. Just like Daddy's Daddy.


There are certain expectations that come with being a W wife. Not screaming in fear whenever father and son have bonding time is one of them.


Baby, happy anniversary! The 6 best years of my life have been with you!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Great Way to Start the Weekend

This morning was a very special day for our sweet friend Julie. She is only about 6 weeks away from having her sweet little son in her arms. We've prayed for this little boy for a looong time and we're finally on the home stretch of our wait. Woohoo!

So today, some of us from church got together to celebrate the miracle in the R family's life. Among the many other things the ladies in our Sunday School do well, making a mother-to-be feel loved is probably one of the most special! (We've had a lot of practice in the past few years!)

The cake/punch table...

S'more cupcakes...

The very yummy brunch table. Man, can these girls cook! Seriously.

The beautiful diaper cake by Jessica R and Courtney...

Very studiously doing our word scramble...of which, the only one I could figure out without too much struggle was "olcic". Been there. Done that.

We all oohed and ahhed while Julie opened some beautiful and fun gifts... of which was a GORGEOUS crocheted blanket from Alison...the softest thing ever! I think she'd make a ton of money if she started crocheting PJs just like this. I'd buy 'em!

Leave it to Amanda to start Little R's library. :-)

Our guest of honor with just a handful of hostesses. I was a dork and forgot to get a picture before everyone left. :-(

From L to R: Jessica W, Julie, Jennifer, Kristen, me. Not pictured: Sara, Jessica J, Jessica R, Courtney, Ashley, and Jenny (who was busy enjoying her little Lily Kate, barely 36 hours old!)

Jules and her Momma...

Julie we are so thrilled to see you come to this special point in your life! We are impatiently waiting to meet your little one.

Hurry Baby R! You have many little Monkey's out here to play with you and Mommies and Daddies waiting to meet you!