Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rain rain go away...

As you can guess from my title of this entry it has been raining nonstop today. I was so bummed because I had planned to take Miyako out and about, but due to the rain we stayed inside. A co-worker of Kan's brought us a walker to use so she played in that quite a bit today. I just felt bad that I could not get her outside. We did stand on our balcony periodically and enjoyed the view. We do have an excellent view of the city.

We are still fighting our jet lag. Miyako got up this morning around 4:30 but after changing a dirty diaper she went back to sleep fairly quickly until 6:30. I can tell though she is not herself and still struggling somewhat. I think if I would let her, she would go to bed at night at 6. She does not fight at all when it comes to going to bed at 7 and I have to do everything I can think of to keep her up that long. It has given me some sweet moments of snuggle time with her in the evenings that I will cherish. She is taking solid afternoon naps but does not want to wake up. I have to go in and wake her up if she is still asleep at 4:30. Bless her little heart. She just does not know what is going on.

Since I cannot share about anything we did today outside the city, I can share some milestones for her. She let go of a stool today and took two steps towards me by herself. She did this once before but it was a couple of weeks ago. She had not dones it since so it was fun to have her try again. Also today she gave me a kiss which was sweet. And, she now loves the telephone and understands what it does. She has a play phone and whenever I play with her and say "Hello is Miyako there" or "Moshi Moshi, Miyako desu ka" (which is the Japanese) she picks up her phone and puts it to her ear and grins! It is so cute and the best part is that she understands it in both english and japanese.

Hopefully tomorrow we will have a more interesting post about something fun we got to do, although the forecast is calling for more rain.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Baby Overseas

I lived overseas for two years after college in Minsk, Belarus and I remember the struggles I had: not getting to where I wanted when I wanted due to public transportation, wishing the lady behind the counter would understand my broken Russian (which became much better by the end of 2 years and now I find myself wanting to speak it while in Japan), or just the simple things that are so much easier in the country you are familiar with. Well, that was a piece of cake compared to having a baby overseas! She is still fighting jet lag and was up last night from 2-4:30. She was up again at 6. I should have known that good night would not last forever. HA! I am glad we are staying for a good bit of time because I would hate to spend a week of a 10 day visit adjusting to jet lag.

Today I had big plans to go to the mall. However, Priss Pooh did not take a morning nap therefore I did not get a shower so we could not go to the mall after her morning nap. Oh well. The same thing would have happened in America! It just feels heightened when I was really wanting to try the subway today by myself. I need to remind myself I am here for a month so I have plenty of time and I need to let my sweet girl get adjusted. She is taking a solid nap and I am listening to Spin ride 177 from Heidi while I write this entry as I drink my coke zero. Life is good. Plus, for those of you not on facebook, I watched Monday Night Football this morning on the computer via our sling box!!

I have gotten several suggestions of things to do from the yahoo group of foreign women married to Japanese men. There are several shopping centers to go to, a cool area by the bay to walk around, and some childrens museums that have toy rooms even for Miyako's age and nursing facilities. So, we are going to take the ones on our subway line first to tackle and then once I am more comfortable with that move on to those places where we have to switch lines. Yesterday we took a second walk in the evening and found a playground within 5 minutes of our apartment, but they did not have baby swings. That was a bummer since Miyako loves the swings. I feel bad for her somewhat because we could not bring a whole lot of toys and stuff. However, it is a blessing because one of Kan's co-workers found a high chair and exersaucer for us to borrow. It will be nice to not feed her in her stroller and to have a place to put her when I have to use the bathroom.

Here are some fun cultural tidbits for you. A friend of my husband's gave Miyako a Hello Kitty fork and spoon. However, the spoon has a stopper on it. Maybe we have spoons like that in the US for kids but I have never seen one. Our toilet has a heated seat...I am not kidding. And there are all kinds of buttons on it to get sprayed with who knows what. Of course all of the buttons are in Japanese and I am afraid to touch them. When I was here 8 years ago, my American mother-in-law and I had a hilarious time trying the buttons out at a fancy restaurant...we went against all rules, but we had fun doing it. I took my first Japanese bath today. In Japanese homes they have a bath tub and a shower. It is common for the bath tub to be filled in the morning with hot water and after you shower and clean yourself, you relax in the bath for a few minutes. I must admit it was very relaxing.

Some of you may be wondering how I am getting my exercise in...well, I borrowed those P90X DVD's from a friend and play them in my computer. They are super hard. I did the plyos one this AM and it was like a training session with my trainer. I am so glad I brought them with me!

Well, I have gone on enough. Kan just called and told me he found a cable for me to download pictures. I took some of our apartment today and will try to post them soon.

My First Day Alone

Today was my first day alone in Tokyo since Kan had to be at work first thing in the morning. I learned a lot about myself in just one day. As you can imagine, it is a little lonely hanging out with a 1o month old in a foreign city where you do not speak the language. I decided to just spend the day getting familiar with our neighborhood. Miyako and I found a way to make it to the river and stroll alongside the river. We saw lots of children getting out of school and people leaving work. We had a nice day, but it was lonely. The Lord showed me that in the US I fill my time with stuff to do and people to see, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, but I think sometimes I use a busy schedule to keep me satisfied and fulfilled rather than looking for that in the Lord. I am thankful for a God who shows me these things, forgives me, and meets me even when I feel alone. He is the one true person who can truly satisfy me.

I am excited about some opportunities the Lord is providing for me to make some friends through strange ways in Tokyo. My American inlaws have a friend who lives 90 minutes from Tokyo and she is going to come stay with us for three days to hang out. It will be fun to get to know her better and to learn about her life in Japan as an American. I also follow a blog of a lady who lives about 90 miles from Tokyo. She has connected me with a yahoo group for foreign women married to Japanese men. Through this group, I hope to connect to some of those women who live in Tokyo. And finally, Kan and I will be going to a PCA church on Sunday so I am hoping this gives me some opportunity to meet people.

Many of you may be wondering how Miyako has done with jet lag. She slept last night from 7 PM to 6AM and only got up once in the middle of the night. I let her stay in her bed until 7AM so she can get used to the 7AM wake up time like we have in the states. I am grateful she slept so well. However, her naps were a different story. She did not take her morning nap and cried the entire hour of it. Her afternoon nap though was great as she slept from 1-4. The worst part was the evening after her nap. She did not want to wake up at 4 and was fairly cranky until bedtime tonight. I was trying to hold her off until 7 but felt so bad for her...she was simply exhausted. So, she went to bed tonight around 6:45. Hopefully she will make it 12 hours. Kan and I are different stories. We went to bed at 9 and were both up at 3. Finally at 5 I decided to get up and do my P90X DVD's a friend let me bring. He finally caved and got up too to go for a run and get us breakfast fixings. I did get an afternoon nap today but feel for him as he did not get that luxury working all day and evening.

I felt like the wife of a Japanese man as we had eggs, bacon, rice, and miso soup for breakfast. Well, Kan had the soup. I just could not eat soup for breakfast. It is a foreign concept to me. :)
Tomorrow Miyako and I are headed to the mall. I am hoping to find her a booster chair of some sort. I think she is tired of spending so much time in her stroller since we walk everywhere and that is also what I am using as a high chair. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We made it!!

Well, the Kawashima family is safe and sound in Tokyo. Right now I am writing from my awesome apartment! We have a great view of lots of skyscrapers and I am one metro stop away from a mall and walking area along water. As you come out of our apartment building there is a drug store that sells diapers so I am in good shape.

The flight here was much better than I expected. I think I expected the worse...for Miyako to cry during 12 of the 14 hours we had on the plane. She surpassed my expectations and did a wonderful job. She got fussy of course...she is 10 months old. But for the most part, she was an angel. We could not have asked for a better traveller. Her first night sleeping was a little rough. She was up every hour. However, I just patted her back and told her it was nighttime and she would eventually go back to sleep.

Today is Sunday here in Tokyo. We checked into our apartment and did some basic shopping for food and every day items. Here are just a few things I have noticed about Japan in the first day of being here.

Observation 1 - You have to go to the grocery every couple of days because the refridgerators are like the size of our college dorm room fridge. So, Miyako and I will venture to the grocery every couple of days but thankfully it is within walking distance so we do not have to go far.

Observation 2 - The Japanese think of everything. On the taxi ride from the hotel to our apartment I noticed a little shield on the window. This is so you can roll the window down while it is raining and not get wet. Clever. The small details are very important to the Japanese. Now I know why my husband gives me such a hard time. HA! I do not pay much attention to those small details and they are very important to him.

Observation 3 - The service here is impeccable! As we checked out of our hotel two people loaded our luggage cart and took it with us as we waiting on the taxi. Once our taxi was loaded and we were in the car, they stood outside our taxi and bowed to us as we left. They know we are not famous people. This is simply how they serve. They go above and beyond what is expected, and they do not do it for a tip. The bell people at the hotel do not get tipped. They simply do their job with high quality and service. I think this will be a hard thing for me to adjust to when I come back to the States.

For those of you wondering, I did watch some of the KY game on Kan's computer via sling. However, I was glad when we switched to the TN game after watching the first quarter. Not so good CATS. Can we start talking March Madness yet?

Well, I need to get Miss Priss Pooh up from her nap. I will try to post pictures of our apartment later once I take some!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Japan Bound

The whole purpose of this blog was created to keep my friends and family updated on our life in Japan that we thought would be happening in the near future. However, due to circumstances the Lord changed our path and right now we are not moving to Japan for a temporary assignment, like two years. We are though headed to Japan for four weeks!! I am very excited and nervous all at the same time. I have no idea what to expect but am thrilled to be taking my daughter there and for her to meet her paternal grandparents for the first time. Finally my blog will meet its purpose as I can keep our friends updated on our travels and what we do while we are there. We will spend most of our time in Tokyo with weekend trips to Kyoto to see my husband's family. We will also be renting an apartment for the month so that should be fun to get a feel for what it will be like to live in Tokyo. I hear McD's in Tokyo has wireless internet so I may get to know Ronald real well! I am hoping to take Miyako to the Hello Kitty store, Disneyland Tokyo, and the zoo. If I can make it there, on my own since my husband will be working during the day, I will feel like I have conquered the world. This will be an adventure and as nervous as I am, I am thankful for the opportunity and hope I can embrace the challenge with a positive attitude.