Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tokyo Disney with Grandma and Papaw

Today we went to Tokyo Disney with Grandma and Papaw. I was thinking since it was a Wednesday and school was in session, that the crowds would be minimal, but it was still very very crowded. However, we all had a great time. We had lunch with my friend "Minnie" and enjoyed a Micky Mouse ice cream sandwich in the afternoon. Miyako got to meet a couple of the dwarfs from Snow White and she rode the merry-go-round and Small World twice. She kept asking to ride the "boat" and "neigh." She also got to see the special Halloween parade twice - once from a distance and once up close. I was in line to take her on the Dumbo ride when I saw everyone in line leaving. Supposedly they had a slight malfunction...glad it happened before I got on the ride. We all tuckered out pretty quickly so we left around 5:30, but it was a great day. Perfect weather, great company, and lots of fun! I can never get tired of Tokyo Disney.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Visit with Grandma and Papaw

My parents arrived on Friday to lots of rain and gross weather. In spite of the weather we have had some fun. I had DVRed the Thursday night college game knowing it would be nice napping television for my dad. On Saturday we relaxed, watched football, and took naps. Saturday evening we headed to Shinjuku to a free observatory of the city and a fabulous sushi restaurant Kan and I really like. It is on the 50th floor and has a gorgeous view of the city at night. Sunday morning we watched more football. The UK/Florida game, unfortunately not a good game for Kentucky fans, was on at 7PM US time, so 8AM for us. After the game we ventured out to Asakusa to visit a temple. From there we took a hour long boat ride to Odaiba and enjoyed watching Miyako play in a bouncy play area. We took them to our favorite hamburger joint and then headed home via the monorail, another beautiful scenic view of the city at night. Monday it rained ALL day. I was so bummed. But you cannot control the weather. So, I had DVRed two pro games from Sunday - The Bengals game and The Colts game - and my dad watched football while my mom and I played with Miyako. For dinner last night we headed to Akasaka to try my favorite little Italian restaurant called Esse Due. My friend Rachel, who was one of the first people I met here, also joined us with her daughter. We had a great dinner and I was so glad to introduce my parents to one of my friends here. Today the rain was coming down again. Thankfully I taped the Monday night football game. You are probably catching a theme here - our family likes football. We did venture out to Tsukiji, the fish market, in the rain since it is close to our house and walked around, enjoyed lunch at Denny's and then headed back to the apartment to watch more football while Miyako naps. My dad may not have been able to watch ALL the games from the weekend, but he got to see quite a few. I keep forgetting to take pictures - well mostly there is not much to take since we have not seen much - but here is a couple of Grandma and Miyako playing and Papaw watching Fox news while relaxing in our apartment. Tomorrow it is supposed to be nice - no rain - finally! So we are heading to Disneyland! I will definitely have pictures of that. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I have been a bit MIA lately from the reason really, just did not have much to share. We have been doing regular routine life which some may find not all that interesting to read about. :) Kan made it safely home from the US this past Friday. He is still recovering from the jet lag but seems to be adjusting. It was fun to receive all kinds of goodies he shipped back to us from the US. It felt like Christmas. We got everything from skyline chili, to new Gerber sippy cups, to lots of fun books for Miyako and myself, and he even sent back three boxes of milk duds upon my request. The only problem was the milk duds melted and stuck together in the shipment so they were no good. I think I will have my mom pick up a box in the airport on Thursday when they head over here to see us.

Yes, my parents arrive here on Friday evening! We are all super excited to see them. It should be a fun nine days for Miyako with Grandma and Papaw. They do not have tons of sight-seeing activities they want to do - they simply want to do fun things that Miyako will enjoy. Nap times will not be interrupted because my dad takes afternoon siestas as well. :) We are going to go back to Disneyland and Disney Sea which I know Miyako will love. And probably hit lots of local parks or gardens, hopefully enjoy some cooler weather, and eat at lots of yummy restaurants.

Today I went to BSF - Bible Study Fellowship - and was amazed to learn that 139 women are registered in the morning study with 30 children in the kids' program. As you know, there are not many Christians in Japan so I was really encouraged to hear these numbers. I am so thankful for BSF here in Tokyo. We are studying Isaiah this year which is quite challenging. My small group is a good mix of foreign women and Japanese women. Miyako LOVES the nursery this year. She cried the first week for about 10 minutes, but today when I left her, she immediately went to play with Anpanman and was fine. I am so glad she is happy there this year, learning Bible stories at such a young age, and I am also thankful for the two hours I have in fellowship with other believers without the distraction of an almost two year old.

Well, I am sure over the next two weeks I will have lots of fun pictures to share of Grandma and Papaw's visit. Until then...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog Question

I have a question for you bloggers - today when I went to my page, my list of blogs I follow was gone! I had to go to google reader to find them. However, I prefer just looking at my blog and seeing the updates automatically there. Is there a way to correct this without having to find ALL the blogs I like and press follow again?

Sunday, September 12, 2010


This past weekend Miyako and I ventured to Nagoya by ourselves to visit a dear friend. She is American but serves as a missionary here and is friends with Kan's American family out of Knoxville, TN. I was a bit nervous about traveling on the train by myself. It took us a little under two hours to get there, but I was scared I would get on the wrong train and be in some strange city and not know how to get back. Much to my surprise, everything went very smoothly.

We had a great weekend in spite of the hot weather. It is definitely not fall here - it feels like what July is like in Kentucky right now. And I am definitely tired of it. But in spite of the heat, we got to go to a petting zoo on a small farm, see Nagoya castle and enjoy a local park. We ate tacos in on Friday night, and had Chinese food out on Saturday. I enjoyed church with our friend on Sunday morning. The only disappointing part was Miyako woke up very early for her while we were there - between 6-6:30 - and since we were on futons I could not tell her to go back in her crib! The sun rises so early here that it woke her up. It made me thankful for her bedroom without windows back at the apartment. Last night she was asleep by 7:30 and did not wake up until 8 this morning!

Miyako enjoyed the petting zoo. She liked watching other people feed the animals. The petting zoo had some random animals put together in one fenced in area - two peacocks, four deer, a large pig, and two bunnies. At Nagoya castle we treated ourselves to an ice cream cone. Miyako had never had ice cream out of a cone before. I usually get it in a cup and give her one bite for every three bites mama eats. :) From the pictures you can see she thoroughly enjoyed it. These two ladies were watching her eat it and laughing as she did so. They thought it was funny when Miyako would try to keep me from eating the ice cream. She did not understand the concept of sharing. The ladies also loved that her name was Miyako.

Saturday night we introduced Miyako to Sound of Music. She did not understand in slumber parties you lay down to watch the movie as she stood in front of the TV the entire time blocking our view. Mel, I think we might have another Maria on our hands, but it is one DVD I do not have here in Japan. :) I simply enjoyed the company of our friend. It was so nice to fellowship with her and relax in her home.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lessons Learned in 24 hours

Well, Kan has only been gone a little over 24 hours and I have already learned a few lessons. One, a coke zero from McD's, although is not quite the same as a diet coke, it does give you a little satisfaction. I am definitely a coke girl, not pepsi. On a more serious note, I have learned that I am richly blessed with friends! I looked at our calendar for this next week and realized I have morning play dates, Bible study, and Japanese class filling our mornings until next Friday. I have afternoon play dates or dinner dates filling our evenings until next Friday. I am headed to Nagoya tomorrow to see a dear family friend for the weekend. I am not lonely here in Tokyo. The super spiritual answer would be, "Shari, you are never lonely because Jesus is always with you." Yes, I hold steadfast to that truth, but we are made to be in community with others and God has given me a great community here in Tokyo. I do not know what I was so nervous about. The week may feel slow at times, but I am blessed.

The other lesson I have learned is that I would rather be here right now than doing what we did in the US. I know this is where we are supposed to be as a family for this stage in our lives. I think back to how we lived with this current job in the US - it meant Kan traveling back and forth to Japan every 6 weeks. While on vacation we were looking at his passport and until we moved here in February, he had been in and out of Japan every month over the course of a year or so. Y'all can do the math but that is a lot of back and forth. It takes a toll on his body, it takes a toll on your family, and it just is not fun. I am so thankful to be here, where we only have to go overseas for work once, maybe twice a year. Sure, he has the trips to Korea or Taiwan, but those are 2 hour flights, 2-3 day trips, and no jet lag to recover from. Those are easy. We are away from family and friends, and by no means do I mean to make light of that. We have lots of great friends and wonderful family stateside. But God has given us friends, like family, here in Tokyo and we definitely spend more quality time together as a family living here. In spite of the long work hours, Kan is generally "home" and that is another blessing.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghosts.

Tonight, I go to bed, praising Him for His blessings in my life, for the gift of the Holy Spirit showing me these things, and for His grace that sustains me. I cannot wait to see what He shows me in the next 24 hours.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And He's Off...

We went with Kan to Tokyo station today and put him on the Narita express to the airport, then on to the US! He will be gone for 9 days, 9 long days. Mind you, we did this ALL the time in the US both before and after Miyako. It rarely phased me because I had family and friends near by. Of course I would miss him, but not like this.

When I first learned of the trip, I was so jealous and acted like a 5 year old. I wanted to go to the US, by myself, for ten days. Yes, he does have to work while he is there...I know that. But sometimes wouldn't you just love 14 hours on a plane by yourself to be alone? Maybe you would be sitting with hundreds of other people like sardines, but you would be away from responsibility for 14 hours. Maybe it is the introvert in me, or the part of me that wants a vacation from being a mom. This does not mean I do not love Miyako or would go back to life without her. NEVER! I love my life. But I do sometimes crave a few days by myself.

I was also jealous that in spite of his work, he was going to see friends and family and meet all of these wonderful babies my friends have had since I left. I mean, seriously, Kan gets to meet sweet Parker before her Aunt Shari. That is just not right.

In the midst of my jealousy and pouting - people, I can pout - the Lord brought a much needed phone call into my life with my sweet friend LeVan. In her southern drawl she reminded me that I wanted Kan to get some refreshment with his family in Knoxville and his friends. She reminded me I did not want to make such a tough trip for such a short time as it would be too hard on Miyako and me. She reminded me it will be hard on him being away from us. She reminded me I did not want to go and let him come back by himself and me stay for three extra weeks because he would work himself to death like they do over here and expectations at work would be set that he can do that all the time, even when we are home. She also reminded me to call her while he is gone and if I was still jealous or depressed, she would still love me. That is what she does - she loves me even in my ugliness. Thanks LeVan.

Well, God took that jealousy away. I even enjoyed planning his social calendar for him and emailing our friends to make arrangements for him to see them. But now he is gone. The jealousy is not back. But it is raining like crazy today, the clouds are dark, and it fits my mood. I simply miss him. It is lonely. When we did this in the US, I missed him of course, but I had such a close community near by that it did not feel quite like this. This is just an aching - knowing he is not in the country - and counting the days already until he comes back.

I do have fun things planned. I am heading to Nagoya on Friday for the weekend to see a family friend. We have lots of play dates planned, dinner dates, and hopefully I will get good naps while Miyako does! But if you think of it, say a prayer for all of us - that we would all be safe and that the 9 days would go by super duper fast!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Visit to the ER

I just got back in from my run this morning and after experiencing the heat, I think I could have gone to the ER. But no, we had to take Miyako yesterday. Grandma and Nana - she is FINE!! Just thought I would preface that up front. Yesterday Miyako wanted to play this game where she lays on the ground in front of the couch and I would pull her up by her hands as she climbs up with her feet. Then we would go into a tickle war. She kept saying "more, more" as she loves being tickled and she thought it was fun coming up the couch with her feet. I thought to myself "tickle wars are fine but I should not be pulling her up the couch." However, rather than listening to the responsible instinct, I could not resist her cute little face when she asked for more. Well, on the LAST time I heard this pop, then instead of laughing for the tickle war she was crying in lots of pain. Her arm went limp and I knew she had popped something or dislocated something. Thankfully this happened BEFORE Kan leaves for the US on Wednesday. We called Miyako's primary care doctor and he said to take her to the hospital, which thankfully the closest one is only about 5 minutes away via cab.

As we waited for the doctor she was in decent spirits, enjoying her pacifiers for the special occasion, and reading books in my lap. However, she could not use her left arm. She would not even hold her extra paci in that hand. The doctor finally saw us and as he tried to touch it she just screamed in pain and said "bye bye, all done, bye bye." He sent us to get x-rays. She was not a big fan of the x-rays either. They laid her on this hospital bed and held her down while this big machine came down from the ceiling to take the picture of her arm. She was flailing her arms around and screaming "Mama, Dada, all done, bye bye." Yes Miyako, we understand you want to go bye bye but we cannot do that right now.

After the x-ray we went back to the waiting room to wait for the results. Miyako was miraculously back to her self. She was using both arms just fine, running around like nothing had happened. The doctor came to show us the results which did show slight movement in her shoulder, but it was not completely dislocated. When he saw her using both arms just fine, he was a bit perplexed. We decided between all of her flailing of her arms during the x-ray, she fixed herself. They took another x-ray, which of course she hated, just to confirm she was okay, and everything was perfect! Her left arm looked just like her right arm.

So, I have documented our first little scare with Priss Pooh. As you can imagine we were all pretty exhausted after our adventure so we came home, ate a late lunch, and took two hour naps. I am so grateful it was nothing too serious. The doctor said this happens a lot. I am grateful she fixed her arm herself rather than having the doctor have to do it or be put in a small sling. And I am really glad Kan was home for this adventure.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dressing the Baby

Miyako has been really into her baby doll lately. The baby rides her tricycle, gets a diaper in the morning, and even gets her face cleaned after meals even though the baby does not have rice all over her face like Miyako. Today, the baby needed to wear Miyako's clothes. Miyako kept motioning towards me that she wanted to take her dress off. I did not quite understand why. Then she kept saying "baby, baby." And this is what we got.