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. :-)