Sunday, August 08, 2010

Ready for her debut!

I'm less than two weeks from my due date, but I have reason to believe that my baby girl will make her debut a bit early! My midwives and a very talented reflexologist all think that she will arrive before her due date.
Knowing that I'll officially be a mother this week or next is an exciting, overwhelming, unbelievable position to be in. I am so thrilled to know that I'll soon meet my little girl.
I've worked really hard to stay healthy and to prepare for my birthing time. I've overcome all the obstacles that tried to get in my way during this pregnancy. And now, I am right on track to have a water birth at a midwife-run birth center in Tokyo using hypnosis during the birth.
Alright, baby, I'm ready for your debut!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby, oh, baby!

I have been quite the neglectful blogger for the past 6-8 months...
The weddings in the US went well, but they left me drained and exhausted.
And then...
I got pregnant! The baby is due at the end of August, and we are so excited! It's been a roller coaster ride so far, but I am officially past the half way point!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I am so tired of wedding planning.
I thought I might be one of the people who post online and share all their great wedding planning tips, but I am not. I am one of those people who feels like they're drowning in a sea of details and wants it all to be over already!
Thank God for my wedding all-star team a.k.a. my mom and my friend Genevieve.
They're doing so many things that I can't, because I'm half a world away.
And soon, Stan and I will have our wedding, our reception, and then fly to California for another reception. Soon. Very soon. Then I can relax. Maybe!?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ok, so I have a sinus infection and I should be sleeping, as it's currently 12:17am in Tokyo, but...
I'm getting married! For real! It's all coming together and my mind is spinning.

My family situation is complicated, to put it mildly, so it's looking like we have to hold 2 ceremonies and 2 reception/parties- one for mom's side and one for dad's side. And at first that made me want to curl up in a ball and cry, but I'm warming up to the idea now, and realizing that it could be LESS stressful this way.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. There's also going to be a big, Chinese dinner with Stan's family in California. OMG. This is getting complicated.

Stan and I live in Japan.
Our families live in the US.
We are going to make this all happen in just under 4 months.
O, my.

This is one of those "It takes a village" situations. And by a village, I really mean, a lot of help from moms, aunties, and assorted other friends and family members!

Wish us luck. I think we're going to need it!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cherry Blossoms are everywhere! But the petals are already falling; creating pale, pink snowflakes.

And finally, tiny hands collecting petals...

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Cold, Snowy Day in Tokyo!

It snowed in Tokyo today!
This may not seem like big new, but we don't get much snow in the city.
The snow didn't really stick, but it was coming down in big, fat flakes for awhile. The kids at my school didn't believe that it was snow at first. They were all claiming it was rain. When the flakes got big and white enough for them to believe it was snow, they started talking about making snowmen. I felt bad, because I knew that their three year old dreams of making a snowman in Tokyo were not going to come true!

In the afternoon, I suggested that Santa might come back since it was snowing. My students thought that that seemed totally plausible. Sometimes teacher humor doesn't compute with kids.

Now it's 7:30pm and I am FREEZING! The snow turned back into rain, but it's still close to zero degrees Celsius, and we are out of kerosene. I do not have it in me to wheel the 18 liter kerosene tank to the gas station on my grandma-style mini-wheelie cart, after dark, in the rain. Nope. Just can't do it. So, I am trying to stay warm using the Japanese air conditioner/heater (エーアコン) that is mounted on our wall, but it is not heating this place up very well.

I brought down a small electric heater from upstairs, which is pointed at my legs. I am also wearing a long-sleeved shirt, a fleece turtleneck, cotton pajama pants, fleece pajama pants, a fleece robe, knee socks, slippers, a hat, AND my knee-length down coat!
My torso is warm, but my legs and feet are still freezing. Ugh.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Did you read my post, "The Ballad of Daisy and Goofy"?

Well, a couple of days ago, I saw Goofy's picture in a Japan Times article about animal adoption events!

You can see the article here. He's wearing the doggie sweater I crocheted for him in the 4th picture from the top. Awwww. I miss Daisy and Goofy, but I hope they're happily snuggled up with their new families!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Earlier this month I went to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. It was amazing!

I had a chance to walk around and look at the quilts with my friend Molly. Seeing the gorgeous works of art made both of us want to quilt!


Molly and I at the end of the day. We both liked this whimsical quilt.

This was one of the most gorgeous quilts I saw.
Last year I became totally obsessed with tawashi, or Japanese magic scrubbers.
I've made several for my mom, but she can't seem to bring herself to use them, because they're too cute! I've heard that same sentiment from others as well. And I've been asked if I really use mine to clean. My emphatic answer is: YES!
Tawashi work so great for scrubbing dried food off of dishes and pans. They clean counters and sinks like a dream. And best of all, they're cute and fun to use!
Below are some of the tawashi I regularly use in my kitchen. I keep my bathroom tawashi in a separate place.

These are all made by me, of course!

If you are a member of the crochet and knitting website Ravelry, check out the Tawashi Town group for more info.
You can also check out tawashi yarn and pattern books in my etsy store.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Ballad of Daisy and Goofy

One day back in November, I passed by an animal rescue group that was fundraising outside Shinjuku station in Tokyo. I picked up one of their flyers and gave them a donation. Then in December, I started looking up information about animal rescue in Japan and...
I found out that Stan and I could foster an animal who is looking for their forever home!

I contacted ARK, an animal rescue/welfare organization about fostering a dog or cat over the holidays. And we were blessed to have a sweet miniature dachshund named Daisy come into out home! I didn't have any experience with small dogs, and Stan was new to pets all together.

Taking care of Daisy was a lot of fun and a lot of work. A few days into taking care of Daisy, we were asked to also foster her former breeding partner, Goofy (both were fixed after being rescued). We decided to take the plunge, and suddenly we had two snuggly, ridiculously sweet dachshunds running all over our apartment!

We had read up on dachshunds before Daisy's arrival, so we knew that they liked to burrow, and maybe even hide under covers. But we really weren't prepared for how hilarious a dachshund is in your bed! The first night Daisy was with us, she burrowed under the covers and then ran laps around the bed- while still under the covers! She spent the night spooning us and finding the warmest, softest spots on the bed. Once Goofy arrived, it was all-out snuggling mayhem come bedtime. Stan and I could no longer spoon each other, because the dogs were in charge!

A couple days after Goofy arrived, Daisy was adopted! I was an emotional wreck. Seriously. I was so sad! But I knew that things had happened as they should. Daisy had found a family to love and take care of her for the rest of her life! Goofy kept us busy, and I snuggled him even more. After about a week, we were able to see a picture of Daisy and her new family. It made me feel so happy to see her with them, and to know that she'd be loved.

After Daisy left, we continued enjoying our time with Goofy. I discovered all sorts of interesting things about my neighborhood while walking Goofy, like a "birds' forest" park, temples, shrines, and some interesting stairways and steep, windy roads.

Both Daisy and Goofy had severe separation anxiety, probably stemming from the traumatic years they spent with a breeder who taped their mouths shut. So, it worked out well that we fostered them at a time when we were able to spend most days at home with them. The couple of times we had to leave one of them alone, they panicked and barked for hours.

After three weeks, Goofy was scheduled to go to an adopotion event and...
He got adopted! I looooved Goofy, but it was a little easier to let go the second time. The important thing is knowing that a family had committed to love and care for little Goofy.

Our house has felt quite quiet without the little, fuzzy snugglers around. But with Stan and I both starting new jobs, the timing of Goofy's adoption was great. We are planning to foster a cat or two. So, there'll be more animal adoration pics coming in the future!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Tokyo Apartment Hunt!

When Stan and I were planning to move to Tokyo, we didn't really have time or money to come to Tokyo and properly hunt for an apartment. So, we found a temporary apartment, and decided to look for a longer-term one once we were in Tokyo.

In September we used a company called Tokyo Rent to look for an apartment. One of their employees showed us 3 places on a very, very rainy night.

Here they are:

Apartment 1
This one is around 50 square meters (538 square feet) on two floors, in a two-unit building. It's good points are an open floor plan, a toilet on each floor, a double vanity, and nearby supermarkets and restaurants. The possible bad points are that the open floor-plan could make it hard to heat.

Apartment 2
This one is about 40 square meters (430 square feet) on the second floor of a two-unit building. The good points are a big kitchen-dining room, and an oven and clothes dryer included with the apartment! Clothes dryers and ovens are a rarity in Japan. Very tempting! The bad points are that the living room and bedroom are one room, and the entry hall smells like cat pee!

Apartment 3
This one is also about 40 square meters (430 square feet) on the third floor of a 6-unit building. This place has a kind of quirky design with lots of red metal in the apartment. The good points are the design and a bed is included with the apartment. The bad points are the TINY kitchen and fairly small living space.

Can you guess which one we chose?
Well, we were debating between numbers 1 and 2. The neighborhood around number 1 was vibrant with a lot of interesting looking shops and cafes, while the neighborhood around number 2 was very residential without much shopping or places to eat.

In the end we chose number 1, and we haven't regretted it at all! We love the neighborhood, and it's very quiet. Of course, it seemed much smaller once we filled it with furniture and stuff, but it feels like home!