Tuesday, June 30, 2009


H/T to Karen for the pic and the use of her Snuggie

Blog-Pressure Delivers

Here are some happenings and the first photos I've received from Kevin in Kobe. A previous post hinting for some pics must have paid off!

Excerpts from an email...
"A young girl from the office came out with us and I was told she speaks English really well. However, she went to school in London, so her English is still “foreign” to me. She sounded like Keira Knightley. Very strange to hear a Japanese person ask me if I “fancied another beer”.

We went out to dinner last week with a different group and they really like to have a good time. One of my US co workers made the mistake of telling someone else that they were “party animals.” Ever since, they have been saying there was an “animal party”. Obviously an “animal party” sounds more sensational." (Ed. note: When I first read about the "animal party" I immediately had an image of some sort of weirdly themed costume masquerade, not a wild bunch of people out for a good time.)

Now for the pics...

Toilet flusher – The different directions mean “large” and “small”. I will let you figure out what that means.

Golden Temple, Kyoto – It's covered in gold leaf!

Kobe – From a boat looking at city and mountains behind

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Something Fun

If you're the crafty type, namely the kiddy crafty type, check out Crap I've Made. Good stuff! Not at all crap in my opinion. I think I'll be trying a project or two. Here are a few faves...

Tie Onesie

Chic Burp Cloths

Applique Onesie Tips and Patterns

Stamped Washer Necklaces

I aspire to the sewing machine skills these crafts require. Seriously. I just need to buckle down and learn already!

You know, one of my favorite parts of the blog is the name. Now that's a woman who doesn't take herself too seriously. This blogger also hearts BabyLegs, which I am totally obsessed with right now.

H/T to my friend Anna for the heads up on this little bloggy treasure.

Kevin's in Kobe

Here's the latest from the Land of the Rising Sun...

When Kevin and his coworkers go to Japan, they have always been treated to conference rooms for work and the executive dining room for lunch. For Kevin's second week, he is on his own. He now has a desk with all of the other employees in the cube farm, and he will have to buy lunch in the cafeteria. The employee caf at MHI is very different than American corporate cafeterias. When he walked in there was one long line that eventually split into two lines which corresponded to one of the two lunch dish choices. Somehow Kevin ended up in the chicken line. For about two dollars he got a big bowl of rice, cut up, cooked chicken stuff (that's really all he was able to say about it), miso and some type of salad. Not a bad deal, even for a penny pinching engineer. I think one of the most interesting things about this story is that there are only two meal choices. Can you imagine walking into a corporate cafeteria in America, or even a college cafeteria with only two meal choices for two dollars? I think people would be lessed than pleased.

After lunch, a voice comes over a PA in the cube farm announcing the daily exercises. Since the instructions for all of these exercises are in Japanese, Kevin has to be all shifty eyed and watch those around him for the cue to change from jumping jacks to toe touches to waste twists and so on. I can't imagine feeling anything but ridiculous doing jumping jacks in a shirt and tie in the middle of a cube farm, but he says that most people participate. When in Rome...or Kobe I guess.

Kevin went to Kyoto with some of his Japanese coworkers. He said the ancient temples and city were very cool and that it was interesting to see the juxtaposition with the modern part of Kyoto. For lunch, the whole group ordered Udon (a noodle soup.) Udon is made with one really long noodle, and by really long I mean about three feet. The noodle is not cut up so the usual way of eating it is to pick up the noodle with your chopsticks somewhere in the middle and start slurping (which is considered the proper etiquette). Between trying to manipulate chopticks, eat the noodle and slurp (which is totally counterintuitive for Americans since many of us were taught not to slurp) all at the same time, it was a tough meal. But hey, anything that is cooked and not part of an animal's gastrointestinal tract is a-ok!

Kevin also had the chance to go to mass on Sunday morning. There is a Catholic Church in Kobe that has an English mass. One major reason for the English mass is the large number of Filipinos working in Japanese factories. Apparently, most of these folks don't really assimilate into Japanese culture; they stick to their native language and customs. Kevin met an older American at mass who came to Japan in the 70s to teach English and has been there ever since. Kevin also went to a coworkers apartment and met his wife and sons. The boys are 8 and 4 and didn't speak English. However, they are totally fluent in the universal language of Wii. Kevin was schooled in tennis but redeemed himself with some baseball.

I really want to post some pictures (hint hint Kev!), but alas, there are none to be posted as of yet. Soon and very soon...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Check this out! I sent my book review for Praying Scripture for a Change into Catholic Exchange, and they picked it up. You may have already read the review here, but I had to put the link up. I'm just a tad excited to be "published."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Crazy Eats

Kevin flew off to Japan for a two-week business trip on Sunday leaving Monica and I to fend for ourselves. So far, so good. Kevin and I are video chatting at least once a day, which is great since phone calls are incredibly infrequent and difficult due to the time change and expense.

On his first evening out, his Japanese coworkers ordered some delectables for Kevin and his other American coworkers: dried squid (think jerky-ish stuff), fish stomach, pig intestines, and semi-raw chicken. Ugh! I think I would go on hunger strike or just fill my suitcase with granola bars.

It's funny. At home, Kevin eats the same thing for two out of three meals. (Breakfast = Wheaties, banana, and applejuice; Lunch = sandwich (either turkey or PB&J), apple, yogurt, pretzels, and carrots) In Japan, he tries crazier stuff than I can get him to eat for dinner at home! It's amazing what you'll do out of politeness...especially after a drink or two.

A Miserably Hairy Time

Yesterday I took Monica to the pool for the first time. I was excited! She loves water, so I thought she would definitely like kicking around at the pool on a hot day.

However, the outing did not go quite as I had hoped. The awkwardness started when I got into my bathing suit and realized I forgot to shave my legs. Since I already paid the entrance fee, I decided to continue on and be as discreet as possible. So I was feeling exceptionally self conscious as I walked across the deck with a big towel around my waste, planning to drop the towel and get into the water ASAP. I dipped into the kiddie pool with Monica and there were instant tears with an altogether pitiful face of baby misery. Apparently the temperature was not to her liking. I thought she might get used to it after a few minutes, but to no avail. The pitiful face and crying only worsened. There I was crouching in the kiddie pool with hairy legs and a screaming baby. All I could do was high tail it out of the pool and end our misery.

I guess I'll have to pay more attention to the hair situation, be glad I didn't buy a season pool pass and either find a heated pool, or fill a kiddie pool with warm water on our deck for now. Someday, Monica may become one of those kids who will spend hours in any frigid pool or lake, (Which totally boggles my mind by the way. I was that kid years ago, but now I am as wussy as they come.) but until then, I think she'll be content with bath time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back from Nor Cal

After a long weekend in California for a friend's wedding, I am glad to be back home and back to normal life. Sometimes I find it disappointing to return home after vacation; back to the grind and hum drum of life. This time, I was more than ready. For one, the three hour time change always gets to me, and we were out late every night with wedding related festivities. Couple that with a turbulent red eye flight back to Michigan and you have the perfect recipe for acute but temporary narcolepsy. I returned Monday morning and had serious concerns about walking and holding Monica at the same time for most of the day. I really thought I was going to keel over from pure exhaustion!

The best part about coming home was seeing Kevin and Monica. I climbed into bed at around 6am when I made it back home. Monica woke up around 7:30 and when Kevin brought her in to the bedroom to see me, her face lit up and she started giggling hysterically. I could not have asked for a better welcome.

I love being a wife and mother! There are times when my brain feels less than exercised, but I wouldn't trade this life for anything. Raising this little one with Kevin is the most awesome responsibility and privilege. Here's to a beautiful life.

(I'll try to post some pictures soon. I forgot my camera, but I'm hoping friends are willing to share!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Thoughts and Happenings

Ye ol' blog has been neglected as of late due to busyness and weird napping. I'm going to have to make some major adjustments in regard to tasking when naps are dropped...arg.

I also started reading another book for the Catholic Company. This time it's Hiking the Camino: 500 Days with Jesus by Father Dave Pivonka, T.O.R. It's a memoir of Fr. Dave's hike of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. The Camino may just be my dream pilgrimage.

This summer is filling up so quickly. Next weekend we're going to be out of town for Kevin's high school reunion, but if we were home, there would be some event or party to attend every night. I love a good party! I wish there were two of me...

I'm going to California for a wedding today (without Kev and Monica!) so there will be yet another hiatus in this corner of the blogosphere. Here's some pics for you to enjoy in the meantime.

Still lovin' the swing. Notice the her little stick legs. She looks especially skinny in this picture. The only baby chub she seems to have is in her face. She looks like a little chipmunk storing food in its cheeks.

Here's Monica's latest trick: rolling around in the crib while swaddled. She used to sleep on her back but now she's taken to rolling on her side and propping herself up on the crib bumper or just snoozing on her belly, all while swaddled of course. She can break out of the swaddle but just chooses to roll with it. Whatever. As long as she's sleeping and happy (as evidenced by the post nap pic above), I'm not changing a thing...at least for a while. I definitely don't plan on swaddling my 4 year old. Can you imagine?? I would have to use bed sheets!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



I went to CVS today to take advantage of a Nivea lotion and shaving cream sale. Just as I was walking to the cash register, I realized I didn't have my ExtraCare card: no card, no deal. I didn't want to put everything back, so I set my little reusable shopping bag by the door and walked quickly out to my car, only to be accosted 30 seconds later by a pharmacist saying, "Oh no you don't!" It didn't take me more than half a second to realize she and the manager and another pharmacist running up behind her thought that I was shoplifting. I didn't have anything but Monica, my credit card, and my keyless entry thingy. I told her that I was just heading out to my car to get my ExtraCare card, but she obviously didn't believe me. I told her I left the bag inside the door so I could go to my car. She was still dubious so I took her inside and showed her the bag. While she and her cronies were rifling through it, I went back out to my car to get the card. When I came back, the bag and my items were on the cash register counter. I felt furious, but I tried to be as polite as possible to the cashier, since he had nothing to do with the scene that just played out.

It really does feel awful to be accused of stealing. The only other time I've been confronted in such a manner was with Officer X in the Civic-Gate incident (Part I, Part II, Part III). The thing that bothers me the most is that no one apologized for chasing me and for the accusation. There is part of me who wants to write a letter and tell them exactly what I think about being accused and spoken to like that. However, I think it's best to just let it go and be glad that I had the presence of mind not to walk out with the bag on the way to get my little card. That mistake would have been difficult to explain away.

Addendum: I told Kevin this story and he said, "Well, why didn't you just leave the bag with the cashier? They wouldn't have accused you of shoplifting." So simple. So easy. Lesson learned.

Monday, June 1, 2009

One For the Books

Yesterday was Pentecost, and the day was truly inspired in many ways...a beautiful morning liturgy, a safe, fast half marathon race for Kevin, fab naps for Monica, and an evening barbecue with friends. However, I think the Holy Spirit Inspiration award goes to Kevin for suggesting that I go kayaking on a local river by myself. Pure bliss. In the B. K. days, we went kayaking, hiking, and snow shoeing as much as possible. I miss that part of my life very much, and spending a few hours paddling around to my heart's content on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon was just what I needed. Ahhh...

I arrived at the canoe livery only to find it very busy--and by busy I mean that there were a bunch of foul-mouthed 20ish year olds sporting Corona swim suits, faux-hawks and retro 80s sunglasses. My happy-bliss bubble was burst on the spot. Fortunately, the dumb luck ended with the obnoxious co-eds. I used to work for this particular park, and a former co-worker treated me to a free kayak. I also got on the river fast enough to beat out the crude and seemingly inebriated canoers.

The short down-river trip I took was just beautiful. There were so many people at the parks along the river sunning themselves and just enjoying the day. I think the best part was seeing some Renaissance fair types dueling at one of the riverside parks. (I really wish I would have had my camera!) They had shields, metal helmets (one complete with a Rohirrim horse hair tail), breast plates and blunt looking swords. It was like Medeival Times on the banks of the Huron. I think there were even some Ladies in Waiting weaving tapestries and embroidering pillows. Kind of weird, but entertaining nonetheless.

It was one of those rare days that everything comes together: quality time with God, with my husband and daughter, with friends, and even with myself. In a word: fabulous.