Friday, November 23, 2007

Finally a post from Japan!

We have been in Japan now for a week and FINALLY I am getting around to posting on the blog. Of course as I begin I hear Monster Baby crying, so this may end up being done in pieces as I find little moments of time.

Even though the flight from Washington DC to Tokyo was shorter (only 14 hours) than the flight from China to Spokane, it seemed really long. Rob and Monster Baby had been feeling under the weather and weren't quite themselves when we made the journey. I have also determined that Northwest Airlines World Business Class is much better than United Business Class. Perhaps it is because on their international flights United also has a first class (NWA does not). I don't know, but if I ever have the option of which airlines I will fly, NWA will easily win even if the flight time increases by a couple of hours or a transfer.

Moving on... Our place in Tokyo is more than adequate. It is smaller than our place in Shenyang. We were spoiled there. Here our living room and dining room combined is about the same size as our living room in China. The kitchen is a lot smaller. Our bedrooms are bigger, but there are just the two of them. In China we had three bedrooms and used one as a family room. Our floor plan here is two floors and includes death trap stairs. I swear that whoever designed the stairs must have been trying to figure out how to trap children's arms and legs in little nooks and spaces. Having the baby gates put up will help immensely. The two balconies (one of dining room, one off of Justin's bedroom) are nice, though it wouldn't be bad to have the extra space INSIDE our apartment. It will take awhile to figure out how to arrange our space.

I took my picture out on the balcony to take a few pictures. Here is a picture of the building next to ours. There are three apartment buildings or "towers" and then some townhouses. I suppose the housing needs to be functional and someone thought that Scandinavian flair was being added. Instead I think they look like they were built out of legos. All they need is some color. In addition to balcony views, there is Monster Baby trying to escape. He loves being outside, even if it is just on the balcony. I think I will have to put his playpen out there in good weather. I can sit beside him and read while he plays.

It will take awhile to get adjusted. Very different from China (and much more expensive!). It will be a fine place. I think that Justin will really enjoy being able to play outside. Rob will get some different experience at the Embassy and not be on call or working overtime so much.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Justin's First Halloween

On Justin's first Halloween we were in Ohio visiting Justin's Uncle Ron, Aunt Ann, and cousins Scott and Missy. Missy got to take Justin around the cul-de-sac to trick or treat while Mom followed with the camera. :) Justin wasn't really sure what to make of it. He didn't dislike it, but he thought it was a bit odd. He found the other children pretty interesting. Probably his favorite part was pulling things out of the bucket after trick or treating. Poor kid didn't even get to eat very much of his candy. He did get to taste his first M&Ms and he is a big fan. Should I be surprised that my baby likes chocolate?
Justin had a good time in Ohio. He had the whole household trained to revolve around him. During our visit there he also:
-learned to crawl up the stairs
-tried going down stairs (saved from falls by multiple people)
-went to see his first marching bands
-discovered he likes banana yogurt (Mom doesn't so he might not have made that discovery for awhile)
-start clapping spontaneously and for games (like patty cake)
Justin and I met up with Rob in DC before heading out to Ohio. Poor Justin hadn't seen his dad (except over the computer) for about a month. When we landed at the airport, I started walking towards Rob. You should have seen Justin's face when he realized he was seeing his dad again. He was so excited. I bet the wheels were turning in that little head of his. What a coincidence that we would run into Daddy!